Crappy weather means flight delays and there are always those odd people who believe the airlines can’t control the weather. However, most folk will just accept a delay grudgingly. That being said, occasionally a flight doesn’t depart on schedule for reasons that are both strange and incredible. Here are a few of those…
Turtles on the Runway
Runway incursions are usually caused by stray vehicles or other planes, but that’s not always the case. New York’s JFK airport has had its fair share of incursions, but once every few years the offenders are diamondback terrapins! These little critters use the runway as a highway to speedily head to the beach to lay their eggs and if the airport can’t use a different runway when nature calls then they have to stop operations. It’s true that a jet could just leave the terrapins under its wheels, but it wouldn’t look good if the papers were full of photos of steamrolled turtles.
People on the Runway
In July 2015, a group of crazy protestors cut through the perimeter fence at London Heathrow and planted themselves on the runway. The reason they decided this was a good idea was because they were angered by the decision to build a third runway and wanted publicity for their movement. Unfortunately, this little stunt caused huge delays and extra fuel for the police helicopters and vehicles – I wonder what all the tree-huggers think about the unnecessary carbon emissions that were wasted on them!
Chemical (toilet) Weapons
Whether an aircraft toilet uses a vacuum system or the classic long drop method, it is basically the same thing – a hole leading to a tank full of nasty stuff. But sometimes the on board loo just can’t cope anymore, and that’s when it gets messy. In March last year, a jet bound for Dubai had to turn back to London when a mystery passenger used the bathroom. To put it in simple terms: what they left behind stank so much that the crew had no choice but to turn back home before the passengers died a slow painful death.
Crabs on a Plane
In 2014, a US Airways plane was delayed when a box filled with live crabs broke open in the cargo hold. The plane was delayed for about 30 minutes while the airport workers rounded up the escaped crustaceans. This is only one of the number of delays that have been caused by out of control wildlife, in the past there have been run-away rodents, fleeing cockroaches, cats breaking loose and, yes, even snakes.
A Korean Air executive became famous when she was arrested for forcing an aircraft to return to the gate. The reason for this? The steward served her nuts in a way that displeased her! Apparently, her Majesty The Nut Queen didn’t like her nuts being in a bag rather than presented to her on a plate. This didn’t go down so well and she was sentenced to a year in prison for interfering with the safety of an aircraft. Of course, the normal reaction would be to ask why the pilot did it instead of simply giving her a slap. Well, probably because her dad owns the company.