AAIB to Investigate After Ryanair Flight Drops 2,000 Feet During Go-Around

A Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX 8 on the tarmac.
Andrzej Otrębski, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An incident which saw a Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX 8 drop 2000 feet in 17 seconds during a go around procedure is to be investigated by the AAIB.

Ryanair flight FR1269, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 inbound from Klagenfurt (KLU), was conducting its final approach to London Stansted Airport on 4 December 2023.

Ryanair FR1269 Klagenfurt-London

At a point on final approach to RWY 22, flight crew elected to execute a go around procedure due to an unstabilised approach.

The aircraft was passing through 1525 feet AGL approximately 3 miles from the runway threshold when the missed approach procedure was initiated.

During the missed approach procedure, the aircraft accelerated and had climbed through 4000 feet. Following this, it exhibited an unusual flight profile. The Ryanair flight drops altitude significantly at this point.

Ryanair Flight Drops in Rapid Descent

The aircraft subsequently descended rapidly to approximately 1825 feet AGL, and accelerated to a ground speed of approximately 280 kn. The unusual and rapid descent took place over a 17 second time span.

Following the first rapid descent, the aircraft then climbed and descended a second time. In this second instance, it descended to a height of approximately 1700 feet AGL.

Flight FR1269 then climbed to 3000 feet, before flight was stabilised at that altitude. The aircraft then positioned for a further approach and conducted a full stop landing without further incident.

The final landing was carried out approximately 15 minutes after the initiation of the first missed approach procedure.

As a result of the incident, the AAIB has now opened an investigation. It has characterised the incident as a “high speed and high nose down pitch attitude during go around.”

Aircraft Details

A Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX 8 on the tarmac.
Andrzej Otrębski, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The aircraft conducting the FR1269 rotation from Klagenfurt on 4 December 2023 was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, registered EI-HET.

This is a 4.6-year-old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the carrier Ryanair. It has been in operational service with the airline since its initial delivery from the factory in February 2022.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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