This weekend, there was a story in the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating allegations that an aborted landing at Singapore's Changi International Airport on 27 May by a Jetstar Airbus A321-200 happened because a pilot was text-messaging on his phone.
Flight JQ57 was carrying 167 passengers from Darwin to Singapore. The Morning Herald story speculates that the aircraft's landing gear may not have been lowered, which caused an "incorrect configuration warning" to be sounded. The aircraft was 122 meters above the ground at the time.
The aircraft landed safely on its next approach.
Neither Jetstar, which is a no-frills Australian airline, nor ATSB, would confirm anything more than an investigation was underway.
The Sydney Morning Herald story also didn't say what the plane's co-pilot was doing at the time.
A strange story, indeed.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.