Buttered up Dash 8A Croatia Airlines pilot was forced to use butter in order to close the forward door on the carrier’s Dash 8 Q400 on a flight to Istanbul. Passengers observed as the pilot and cabin crew smeared butter over the latch which wouldn’t close properly. The aircraft landed safely in Istanbul where the problem was fixed. The jet passed all technical requirements for its return flight to the Croatian capital. The incident occurred on Wednesday on flight OU350.
Following the flight, the captain wrote an e-mail to the airline’s technical division stating, “I would suggest that you add additional butter on all of our flights in case we are forced to use it again to fix the door”. He continues, “Since we had problems closing the door, after a few minutes we thought of using olive oil but realised it was too expensive and went for the butter instead. After the door was buttered it all went smoothly from there on so I would suggest stocking up on more butter on our flights”. Croatia Airlines says it cannot comment on the incident since an internal investigation is ongoing. It insists the safety of passengers was never at risk.
Despite the airline having a spotless safety record, earlier in the year Croatia Airlines pilots spoke out against the carrier’s Bombardier Dash fleet claiming that the aircraft are unreliable. Technicians have also voiced their concerns saying that regular annual maintenance for the type takes up to 25 days while maintenance for the larger Airbus jets take only a week. Croatia Airlines introduced its first Dash 8 aircraft in May 2008.