Plane Returns After Fistfight Between Passengers

Discussion in 'Blogstand' started by Horse, Jun 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Horse
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    Horse Gold Member

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    msnbc.com staff and news service reports
    updated 6/1/2011 12:02:39 AM ET

    WASHINGTON — Government and airline officials say a United Airlines plane with 144 people aboard returned to Washington-Dulles International Airport for an emergency landing escorted by two F-16 fighter jets after a fight broke out between passengers.


    The two fighter jets were dispatched from Andrews Air Force Base after the pilot reported the disturbance, said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander William Lewis, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

    Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown says Flight 990 bound for Accra, Ghana, returned to Dulles in Chantilly, Virginia, just after midnight Sunday after a fistfight in the cabin.


    They shadowed the airline flight all the way back to Dulles, where it landed safely, Lewis said.


    "They were just following typical procedures when you have disturbances," Lewis said.
    "It's pretty commonplace whenever there's an airspace violation," he said.


    Police met the two passengers at the gate when Flight 990 landed back at Dulles early Monday morning, but neither passenger was injured and they were not arrested, said airport spokesman Rob Yingling.


    The Washington Post, which first reported the incident, reported that the fight began not long after takeoff when a passenger lowered his seat and a passenger behind him objected. The pilot, the Post reported, decided to return to the airport when he was unsure of the scope of the problem.


    United spokesman Mike Trevino said Tuesday that the Boeing 767 dumped fuel as a safety precaution to lighten its weight on landing. The plane can take of with 16,700 gallons of fuel, The Washington Post report stated.


    It was unclear what arrangements were made for the travelers to reach their destination.
     
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  2. Horse
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    Horse Gold Member

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    I wonder if either party will be fined after the cost incurred when two F-16s had to escort them back. Otherwise, it will be the taxpayers who get to foot the bill over somebody reclining their seat and the other person not liking that.
     
  3. homeyfour
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    homeyfour Silver Member

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    ..not only the F-16s, but for the fuel that 767 had to dump. Can't believe no arrests were made.
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    and the time wasted for the 162 other pax and the crew.
     
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  5. Horse
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    Horse Gold Member

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    I agree with both of you. The expense over something so trivial is ridiculous.
     
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  6. dc3
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    dc3 Silver Member

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    What would the F-16's do, other than be there to shoot down the plane? What a waste of money. Whoever sent up the planes should pay for the cost.
     
  7. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    There should be zero tolerance for nonsense like this.
     
  8. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    Personaly, I believe the pilot should have asked for more information from the flight crew.

    Maybe the crew didn't want this behavior or "issue" for the duration of the flight, but based on what has been written, seems the pilot(s) made an uninformed decision.
     
  9. BeachMiles
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    BeachMiles Gold Member

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    Like Rodney King said , back in 1992 I think, " Why can't we all just get along."
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I guess the idea is that you send the F-16s up when there is an indication of unusual on-board activity/disturbance without first waiting for all the details. Launch the jets first, ask questions later. Sure, it comes at a cost (that I partially pay for, too). But on the other hand, don't those F-16 pilots have to fly a certain number of hours each month/year anyway?
     
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