EasyJet incident: Boeing 737-700 'violent pitch down'
This startling information is set forth in a brief Preliminary Incident Report issued by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is assisting the U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) with its probe into the cause of the incident.
According to the NTSB, easyJet Boeing 737-73V, registered in the United Kingdom as G-EZJK, was operating as a non-revenue flight with four flight crew members on board.
An article about the incident on the aviation news website FlightGlobal.com quotes from a statement issued by easyJet that says:
EasyJet can confirm that we are working with the AAIB regarding an occurrence over the North Sea involving EasyJet test flight, EZY8010 from Southend to Stansted - which diverted to Southend, on the afternoon of 12 January 2009.
We can also confirm that the only people onboard the aircraft were the Captain, the First Officer and two observers. The Boeing 737-700 was being tested as part of the hand-back procedure to its leasing company.
Unfortunately, at this stage we can not provide any additional details on the occurrence as we are collaborating with the AAIB”. The AAIB has not yet responded to questions on the event.