The ones you didn’t see coming: most bizzare stories of 2018
From drunk or smoking pilots, to rescue planes getting stuck themselves, sometimes not everything goes according to plan. Here is a list of the most bizzare, jaw-dropping stories of 2018, involving ……….. Which one raised your eyebrows the most?
Tragic yet astonishing Horizon Air Q400 theft
Richard Russell, age 29, a ground service agent employed by Horizon Air stole a company-owned Bombardier Q400, a 76 passenger jet, at SeaTac Airport Friday, August 10th, at 7:32 PM, PDT. With no one else on board, Russell took over the controls of the plane and flew south of the airport, over Puget Sound. He managed to perform several acrobatic maneuvers during his 75 minutes aloft, before crashing into Ketron Island, approximately 30 miles south of SeaTac Airport, into a wooded uninhabited part of the island.
Old habits die hard
Singapore airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) all suffered from flight delays caused by their pilots showing up for duty...drunk. In JAL’s case, not only was their pilot arrested in London for exceeding the UK’s legal blood alcohol limit close to 10 times, but the situation also became the last straw for country’s authorities, prompting them to review and tighten airline pilot alcohol consumption rules.
Contrary to the airlines above, Air China’s pilot’s habits actually caused a scary incident mid-flight. On July 10th, the airline’s Boeing 737, carrying 153 passengers and nine crew onboard, en route from Hong Kong to Dalian, suddenly lost cabin pressure, prompting the plane to drop and the cabin's oxygen masks to be deployed. The preliminary report into the incident pointed to the co-pilot smoking an e-cigarette during the flight. Apparently, trying to hide the fact that he was smoking and without notifying the captain, he shut off the plane’s air-conditioning, causing oxygen levels to fall.
Things got only worse for Nepal’s US-Bangla Airlines. On March 12th, upon landing at Kathmandu’s International Airport, a Bombardier Q400 clipped the fence and crashed, bursting into flames. Out of the 71 people on board, 51 were killed in the accident. Preliminary investigation revealed that the captain was under severe emotional distress, possibly triggered by a female colleague’s remarks: rambling to the traffic controllers he chain-smoked during the entire flight, reportedly lighting a cigarette just three minutes before starting the descent.
Do you speak English?
A Bogota-bound Lufthansa flight was forced to divert to Cali, also in Colombia, on November 17, but encountered a rare (hopefully) problem. While approaching Cali airport, the traffic controller seemingly could not understand Lufthansa captain’s request. Fortunately, the pilot of an Avianca Brazil flight, which had also been diverted to Cali, heard the conversation and jumped in to act as a translator between the Lufthansa crew and the controller.
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