Tag: Emergency LandingsView All Tags
Standard economy seats on United
Three times this week have flights been disturbed by passenger fights over the right to recline, and three times this week have the situations proved petty. Alas, it's a hot topic and the details of that initial confrontation (which was so bad as to divert the plane) continue to leak.
Our friend Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press spoke with Mr. James Beach, better know to the internet as "Knee Defender Man," who, though repentant for some of his actions once the issue escalated, states that he still plans to use the Knee Defenders on future flights.
The article manages to tell a clearer story of what exactly happened in that United flight from Newark to Denver, which diverted to Chicago because of the argument. It's well worth a read, especially as Mr. Beach's explanations only serve to dig his hole deeper. Take, for example, this:
People are crazy. That is the one thing to keep in mind as we start in on this week's tale of ridiculous behavior on an airplane.
Sunday's United flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was forced to divert to Chicago-O'Hare after a mid-air argument erupted over legroom. The two partiesa man and woman, both coincidentally aged 48 came to harsh words over the man's use of "Knee Defenders" to prevent the woman seated in front of him from reclining.
Knee Defenders (pictured in use, above), are a $21.95 pair of doohickies designed to fit between a meal try and the seat it's attached to, which inhibits the recline of said seat. They are unofficially prohibited by airlines, and Knee Defender itself recommends doing the decent thing of providing a "courtesy card" to explain the use of the devices to the effected parties. Alas, it is apparent that such common decency was absent on this United flight.
"One is an example. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend."
Something has been troubling us lately. Recent footage and images of emergency aircraft evacuations show passengers consciously disobeying flight crew commands to leave their luggage onboard. Fools are grabbing carry-ons and shopping bags, hopping down the emergency slides with them, and running for their lives.
Granted, emergency landings and evacuations are an extremely rare occurrence and it's likely you'll never have to experience one. Still, should you find yourself queuing up to shimmy out an emergency exit, please remember to put the well-being of fellow passengers before that of your duty-free impulse buys.
Take, for instance, the tragic incidence of the Asiana 214 crash landing at SFO last year. Video footage of the evacuation (as the plane burns!) has passengers running with armloads of bags. Several bags are clearly from duty-free shops. To say this is embarrassing is a gross understatement, especially considering three passengers lost their lives.
Emergency Landings / Ethiopian Airlines / 767 / GVA / Hijackings / Crimes / Politics Travel / Ethiopian Flight 702 / → All Tags
BREAKING NEWS. Scroll to bottom for latest updates.
Prior to midnight EST, an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound from Ethiopia to Italy declared an emergencya hijackingand flew instead to Geneva, Switzerland.
The aircraft landed safely in Geneva and there are no injuries or fatalities.
Here is what we know, owing to direct sources (live ATC conversations, live flight tracking, on-the-ground contacts at Geneva Airport):
The landing of the plane, a Boeing 737-700 carrying 124 passengers and five crew members, was uneventful. It was a normal flight, with a normal, non-emergency landing, with the only difference being the 737 landed at the wrong airport.
Originally set to fly Chicago-Midway to Branson, MO, and on to Dallas-Love Field, Southwest flight 4013 instead touched down on the 3700' runway at a tiny general aviation field, M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport (PLK), just outside Branson. While the crew expected the 7100' runway at Branson and a regular terminal to park and offload passengers, there was some hard braking and some tarmac wait time.
Thankfully, that was the extent of the discomfort for the 124 flyers and 5 crew, who were speedily bussed over to the correct airport to board another Southwest 737 the airline had rapidly dispatched for them.
The story can actually be seen, abridged, in the tweets of passenger Scott Schieffer (@scottdallastx):
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[Update 07/23] The runways at LGA are open again and flights are progressing normally as possibly, although keep an eye out for the plane if you're flying in, as it's still sitting where the nose collapsed.
[Update 7:30pm] Southwest has issued an updated statement regarding the incident. View it on their site (if the site is down, view screenshot). It reports there are five minor passengers and three flight attendants with injuries currently being treated. All passengers are safely in the terminal.
[Update 7:00pm] Flights departing for LaGuardia this evening will be held at their origin until 8pm at the earliest. Double-check the status of your flights and those for anyone you're due to pick up from LGA.
Around 5:45pm EST this evening, a Southwest Air Boeing 737 landed at New York's LaGuardia Airport and suffered a landing gear failure at the nose. The plane tipped forward, and the crew and passengers evacuated via the emergency slides. There were 150 people total onboard.
There was no fire or explosion.
The jet is tail number N753SW, operating as Southwest flight 345, originating in Nashville, TN. The individual plane was first delivered from Boeing to Southwest on June 10, 1999, which makes it just over 14 years old.
Passengers Behaving Badly / American Airlines / Emergency Landings / Travel Hell / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
There's a distinct difference between "fan" and "stan." A fan has a normal affection for a product, person, or somesuch. A stan? Well, they're different. They fall into the batshit category. They go too far. They can be dangerous.
That's how American Airlines crew could categorize the passenger they had to remove from a recent flight from LA to JFK.
A woman, obviously Whitney Houston's biggest fan, repeatedly sang her "I Will Always Love You" song for hours on end, before passengers had had enough.
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"Everyone on the bus!"
It was a nippy morning outside of Seattle and two loads of Boeing top brass and members of the press were being bussed out onto the tarmac at the airline manufacturer's Paine Field Airport. This would be the very first peek inside the shiniest airplane on the flight line before ANA/All Nippon Airways flew her away to Tokyo. The other airplanes on the tarmac, windows still blacked out and engines still unconnected, could have felt nothing but jealousy (if airplanes had feelings, that is).
This was 16 full months ago, in September 2011, when Boeing first delivered a 787 Dreamliner to a customer airline. We were there, onboard that bus, and then, later, inside that plane, running our palms over the new seat fabric and imagining the thousands of eager travelers who'd sit in each individual seat during only the first few months of service. Would they know what a special plane they were on?
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We all remember back in early November of 2010 when Qantas flight 32 was climbing out of Singapore's Changi Airport and, due to an oil leak, blew an A380 engine. The engine explosion pierced fuel tanks, created a hole in the wing and damaged wiring. Parts of the engine even rained down on a small Indonesian island as the pilot called for an emergency landing back in Singapore.
The resulting blame game was intense, between the engine manufacturer, the maintenance crews and the plane design itself.
Fast forward over 1.5 years later and the plane is still stuck in Singapore undergoing much needed repairs and a full investigation. An airplane, especially a massive A380, grounded for that long costs beaucoup bucks no airline wants to fork over, but no airline wants to risk an accident. We get it.
Emergency Landings / Airline News / Qantas / 767 / Australia Travel / Airplane Hell / Mt. Isa / ISA / → All Tags
From time to time planes are forced into emergency landings. Sometimes the reasons are real emergencies, like a bird strike or cracked windshield. Sometimes the reasons are still real, but are only a smell of smoke in the cabin or an unruly passenger. In all cases, the crew make the executive decision to bring the bird down in the interest of safety. In many cases, the problem is detected, rectified and the passengers are on their way with a bit of a delay. They'll be a little late, but no major dramas ensue.
Over the weekend, a Qantas aircraft had such an emergency where the crew smelled smoke on board. Naturally, alarms were raised and the captain decided to divert to an alternate airport. The Boeing 767, en route from Darwin to Brisbane, safely landed in the small outback town of Mt. Isa.
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During a flight from Singapore to Auckland, a passenger—Robert Rippingale—choked on his in-flight meal only an hour or two into the 11-hour journey. He was sitting next to his girlfriend, who initially thought he was just laughing, but soon the scene turned very serious.
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Any time Ryanair spokespeople begin to talk about following EU airline regulationsand by "following EU airline regulations" they mean "doing the absolute minimum as required by law"you know that something has gone wildly awry.
Last time we saw them being defensive like this was last year, after they stranded Canary Island-bound passengers on the entirely wrong island in the midst of a thunderstorm. The airline's excuse? That according to EU regulations they were, in terms of physical distance, close enough.
So with Ryanair spokesperson Stephen McNamara telling a Swedish newspaper that flight attendants handled a medical situation according to EU requirements, you know that the story is going to be good. And by good we mean very, awesomely bad.