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Lufthansa Flight From Buenos Aires Forced to Divert Twice After Medical Emergency Runs Down Crew Hours

Lufthansa Flight From Buenos Aires Forced to Divert Twice After Medical Emergency Runs Down Crew Hours

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A Lufthansa flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Frankfurt, was forced to divert twice on Tuesday after a medical emergency then led to the crew running out of hours to get all the way to their final destination.

The incident involved Lufthansa flight LH511 which departed the Argentine capital just before 5 pm on Tuesday but didn’t arrive in Frankfurt until 7 pm on Wednesday evening following the unusual double-double diversion.

Things reportedly got off to a rocky start around four hours into what should have been a non-stop flight when a passenger suffered a medical emergency. By this point, the other passengers were tucked up for the night for the evening transatlantic crossing.

With no diversion points between South America and North Africa, the pilots decided the best option was to divert the Boeing 747-8 aircraft to the Brazillian city of Natal.

The aircraft landed in Natal at around 10:45 pm and didn’t then takeoff again until around 3:30 am on Wednesday morning.

By this point, it was evident to the crew and their bosses in Frankfurt that with the five-hour delay on the ground in Brazil, they couldn’t legally fly all the way to Germany due to European air safety rules.

Flight duty limitations, as they are known, allow for a maximum crew duty period of 18 hours for EU-based airlines, which would give flight LH511 just enough time to Paris.

So that’s exactly what they did. The flight flew to Paris Charles de Gaulle, where it diverted for the second time and was met by a second crew who had been flown from Germany in preparation for the plane’s arrival.

In a statement, a Lufthansa spokesperson told us: “First, there occurred a medical emergency on board, following that, the crew ran out of duty time.”

Still, at least the passengers got to their final destination in the end. The other scenario was that Lufthansa operated a ‘flight to nowhere’ and returned to Buenos Aires.

In February, an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to New York JFK was forced to return to Aotearoa after it had already made it halfway across the North Pacific Ocean en route to New York.

The epic 16-hour flight to nowhere was caused by a small fire at JFK Terminal 1, which led to a loss of power across the terminal.

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