Japanese passenger jet nose-dives as pilot hits wrong button

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The Independent Online

A passenger jet nose-dived and rolled almost upside down after the co-pilot hit the wrong controls while trying to open the cockpit door so the captain could return from a toilet break.

Two flight attendants were slightly hurt and four passengers suffered airsickness when the All Nippon Airways Boeing 737-700 with 117 people aboard dropped 6,000ft in 30 seconds and rolled more than 130 degrees over the Pacific on a night flight from the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to Tokyo.

ANA said yesterday that the co-pilot is believed to have mistakenly hit the rudder controls instead of the door lock to allow the pilot back in the cockpit.

The crew managed to stabilise the plane after the co-pilot's error and the flight landed safely. Japan's Transport Safety Board is investigating the incident on 6 September.