Dutch agency: glitch in autopilot systems may be behind 23 airline incidents globally

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AMSTERDAM – The Dutch Safety Board, which investigates disasters and potential disasters in the Netherlands, says it has detected a glitch that can cause airplane autopilot systems to respond in a dangerous way when a plane is attempting a steeper than normal landing approach.

In a report, the agency said the glitch can cause the autopilot to pull up plane’s nose at the wrong moment during a steep approach, potentially leading to a stall.

The agency has notified airline safety organizations globally of the issue. Its investigation stemmed from a November 2013 incident at Eindhoven Airport, and it examined four similar incidents in Europe and 19 in the United States involving different aircraft, airports and airlines. Agency spokesman Wim van der Weegen said Thursday none of the incidents caused a crash.

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