A FLYBE airplane nosedived 500ft in just 18 seconds after the aircraft’s autopilot was accidentally set to zero feet while in mid air.
Up to 44 people were on board the flight from Belfast City Airport to Glasgow with an incorrect setting having been blamed for the plane plummeting toward the ground according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).
A report by the body said autopilot was engaged when the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop plane reached an altitude of 1,350ft.
It added cockpit alarms warned the pilot and cabin crew, allowing time to save the plane from crashing as it became “visual with the ground” during the terrifying January 11 incident.
The aircraft continued to climb to 1,500ft but it "pitched nose-down and then descended rapidly" when autopilot was set to zero by mistake.