Sunday, April 23, 2006


Fly The Friendly Skies

One thing no airline passenger wants his flight to be, is exciting. Exciting is something like this passenger freakout on a flight from Chicago to Sacramento, Ca. Here's a bit from the Rocky Mountain News:

DENVER - A United Airlines flight from Chicago to Sacramento, Calif., was diverted to Denver International Airport on Friday after a man trying to open an aircraft door and claiming to have a bomb was subdued by passengers, authorities said.

Two F-16 fighter jets from Buckley Air Force Base scrambled to escort the plane as it flew into DIA, according to Lt. Commander Sean Kelly, a spokesman for NORAD.


FBI spokeswoman Monique Kelso said authorities searched the aircraft for explosives and re-screened luggage as well as the passengers before they were allowed to re-board the plane, which left for its original destination at about 7:30 p.m.

Rather matter-of-fact, isn't it? Nothing like this account from a passenger on the plane:

...the next thing I know I hear our flight attendant yelling, "No sir, Stop that Sir!" and then "get away from there"! The passenger in 2D stated he could see that the guy had indeed been able to move the handle on the main exit door all the way over and that he could see the inner door lifting and moving a bit. The flight attendant rushed forward to push back on the door trying to close it. It was at that moment that some pretty cool guys in 1B, 1C stood up grabbed the guy and had him in want I think was considered a choke hold. 1D, another big guy (all 3 men who helped to subdue the man were a good size fortunately) was also helping to hold the guy down.


He was screaming, "I want to die, "I have a camera in my stomach", "Kill Me "and also "We have to save the Country!"


Channel 9 WAS on and the guy in 3D and myself listened to the conversations of the pilot and the Denver airport. It was believed that there might be a bomb threat since the guy was raving about needing his camera and the "camera in his stomach" comments and permission was given to land in Denver under an emergency situation. Apparently two fighters were deployed out of Buckley AFB and were conversing with the pilot in order to figure out exactly what was going on. I suppose it could be said that if the piliot was not communicating sufficiently with the jets, that some sort of action would have been taken. Fortunatly, all was well in the cockpit and the pilots were excellent.

Do you give that crew a raise or a bonus or what? I was completely hooked by this account of very frightening situation. She goes on to describe the debriefing, and gives very high marks to United Airlines for their excellent treatment of the passengers.

Disclaimer: I must also say that I have no idea who this woman is or how accurate her account may be, but it seems to match pretty well with newspaper accounts, at the very least. Or maybe a United PR person posted this anonymous account to make their company look good. I'm taking it as real unless someone shows otherwise

Thanks to Dean for the tip.
I look at your blog all the time. I just can't wait to see what's going to roll off your brilliant mind next.
Gee thanks! That's very nice of you to say. However, are you sure you didn't mean some other blog, or are you just drunk? I'm kidding. It's very flattering. It's just too bad that you're looking at it all the time, while I hardly post any of the time. I shall try to improve my efforts.
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