And five other bizarre mid-flight cases
Ask any kid what he wants to become when he grows up and chances are the word pilot would come up. As kids, we were all obsessed with not only planes but the idea of being airborne itself! The idea of flight, the idea of being free, the idea of touching the sky probably intrigued every kid at some point in time, but unfortunately, most of us didn't become a pilot.
Enter this ten-year-old kid from Algeria, the kid always dreamed of becoming a pilot and he had his breakthrough when two pilots let him control the airplane mid flight! Imagine being a passenger and coming to know that the flight is being guided by a kid who probably didn't even had his wisdom teeth removed! Nevertheless, when the authorities found out about this incident, they did suspend the pilots. Amazingly, this isn't even in the league of weirdest thing a pilot has ever done mid-flight. Want to know about the weirdest things pilots done mid flight? Scroll down and take off!
Note: The cover image was for representational purpose only.
There are some kids who realise their dreams of becoming a pilot and then throw it all away to make some other kid realise that. The two pilots from Algeria did exactly that as they let the 10-year-old kid take control of a domestic flight from Algiers to Setif last month.
The whole incident was part of the stunt which was carried out for TV for a charitable initiative. The kid, as iterated by the pilot was adjusting the actual aircraft, adjusted power bar, the altimeter. Although he was praised that he would make a 'very good pilot' how we wish we could've said that about the pilot and the co-pilot of that flight as they put many lives at risk for making the kid's dream come true. What if we tell you, this is the least of bizarre things that pilots ever did? Let us bring you five such bizarre things pilots did mid-flight.
In 2011, a Southwest Airlines pilot probably forgot that his intercom was on and started lamenting about his sex life to his co-pilot. Nothing unusual, right? Besides the intercom being on and not only the aeroplanes in proximity but also the entire air traffic control base got to hear about his erm...exploits.
The pilot, still alien to the fact that the intercom is on, decided to raise the stakes when he started discussing the number and the types of women he's had sex with! Still, it couldn't get worse, could it? Well, it did. Apparently, he was flying over Houston's airport, one of the busiest airports in the country and managed to clog up air traffic because he was frustrated. It wasn't until the air traffic controller asked the pilot to shut up about his exploits. Naturally, the pilot was penalised and was suspended later on.
You know why Mr. Ryan Bingham (played by George Clooney) from the movie Up in the Air used to travel only in the USA? It's probably because they don't text while landing the plane (but let their kids crash it, more on that later). So when during Jetstar flight JQ57's final approach towards Singapore's Changi Airport the pilot decided to check his phone rather than ... well, land the plane, things got bad.
You'd imagine a veteran pilot with 13,000 hours of flying experience would prioritise landing over his mobile? Think again. The veteran pilot apparently on his way to descent did everything right but opening the god dammed landing gear! When the co-pilot ominously stated that "something is not quite right" then he realised what he did! At 392 feet, there was no way the landing gear would open before touchdown, so the pilot had to pull on the stick as hard as he can to send the plane skyward again and avoid a calamity. The pilot was given a warning, and the airlines stated that it would incorporate the lessons learned from this incident into their training.
Source: ABC News
Well, NASA would've loved to look into this one, only if this was the case. Canadians are mercilessly trolled over the globe for being dumb. So, it was when a pilot of Air Canada mistook the planet Venus for an incoming fighter jet, it only added to the folklore. In Jan 2011, when the pilot of the flight travelling from Toronto to Zurich woke up after his nap time, he noticed something unusual.
So when the pilot woke up, a little more than an hour later, just scratching the upper atmosphere, he noticed a white dot in the sky. He mistook the white dot for an incoming airplane and sent his airliner into a 400 feet plunge while screaming "Holy s***!" over the microphone. So when the pilot 'nearly' avoided the airplane and probably would've started to gloat about his manoeuvring skills, the gods of IQ returned the borrowed IQ cells and made him realise that the white dot was actually the planet Venus!
Well, his manoeuvring skills couldn't help the airlines avoid a $20 million lawsuit.
Source: ABC News
In Sep 2011, an All Nippon Airways Boeing 737 was en route to Tokio when the pilot had to answer nature's call. It was nothing unusual, and the co-pilots are rigorously trained to manage even without the pilot. So the pilot got out of the cockpit to answer the call and after doing that asked the copilot to open the door of the cockpit. At that moment, all hell broke loose!
So when the pilot was probably still adjusting his zipper and asked the co-pilot to open the cockpit door which was electronically locked (you know, safety reasons). In what was one of the most baffling design decisions of all time, the button to unlock the door was right next to the button which controlled ... you know, 'just' the rudder. The co-pilot pressed the wrong button and sent the plane into a 6000 ft nosedive. Thankfully he did manage to gather the rudder and control the airplane and probably allow the pilot in.
Later on, the airlines did give pilots and co-pilots even more rigorous training about where the controllers are located. If only they could've used colours!
This incident took place in 1994 when Yaroslav Kudrinsky was controlling the airplane and decided that a bit of family time won't harm him or the 75 people on board. So he invited his kids to the cockpit. Inviting kids is adorable, letting them sit on the seat is scary but giving them control of the airplane is downright shocking! Kudrinsky might be a fool to let his kids take control of the plane, but he still had few brain cells left as he did turn on the autopilot before letting them sit on the seat, meaning whatever they do, won't affect the plane.
Is this the part of the article where we reveal that if the pilot turns the rudder with a lot of force, it overrides the autopilot? We guess it is. So when Kudrinsky's son steered the airplane into doom, it sparked massive outrage. The plane dived 33,000 feet and crashed into Siberia, killing everyone onboard. So the next time you land safely at your destination, don't be afraid to pat your pilot on the back.
Source: NY times