On 22 August, a SmartWings Boeing 737-800 from Samos, Greece to Prague, drifted down to 24,000 feet and continued at that level for a landing without further incident about 2:20 hours later.
The aircraft’s left-hand engine shut down spontaneously while flying at 36,000 feet. The pilots, however, continued their journey to Prague for another 2 hours and 20 minutes on one engine.
“It was safe to operate,” the airline told Czech newspapers
The airline confirmed the incident to Czech newspaper iROZHLAS, stating that it was perfectly safe to operate the aircraft on one engine all the way to Prague.
SmartWings spokesperson Vlaďka Dufková denies that the company violated safety regulations and explains to newspaper Zdopravy.cz: “The crew proceeded in accordance with the safety and operational procedures for these cases and the aircraft landed safely. The commander of the aircraft is one of the most experienced in the company, the crew had the situation under control and certainly would not underestimate anything.“
Through out our careers as pilots we have been told and trained after dealing with an engine failure to land to the closest suitable airport. Is slso written in the QRH. One of the reasons is in case if the other engine quits! We airline pilots being responsible for all these souls that we carry, we should fly them safely to their destination. A serious airline will had fired both pilots the moment the plane landed. If the Czech CAA and the EASA will not take any actions against this unresposible, unsafe captain I m afraid in the future we will have more cases like this as airlines wants to save money or the captain wants to be on time for dinner. Obviously ftom their answer the company sees that the life of 178 passengers has no value but passenger on this flight should sue the airline for Reckless Endangerment as is a crime.
Was safe ! In accordance with procedures ? Which one exactly ? The one that Boeing says a twin engine aircraft must land as soon as possible in the nearest suitable airport after loosing an engine ?