Thursday, July 19, 2007

Unusual Airplane Disasters

I inherited from my dad an obsession with airplane disasters and crashes. Today I discovered that planecrashinfo has a page dedicated to strange disasters. Among more recent disasters are an Aeroflot crash caused by the pilot's allowing his children to take turns at the controls, a Peruvian plane that hit the water because its crucial sensors were covered with duct tape by a negligent maintenance worker, and the following amusing incident on a British Airways flight(it's ok to be amused because no one was seriously hurt):
On a flight from Birmingham, England to Malaga, Spain, at FL 173, a large section of windshield fell away from the aircraft. The decompression pulled the captain out from under his seatbelt. Despite trying to hold onto the yoke, the captain was sucked out into the opening. A steward in the cockpit was able to grab hold of his legs. Another steward was able to strap himself into the vacant seat and aid in holding onto the captain's legs. The copilot wearing full restraints made an emergency landing at Southampton. The captain remained half way out of the aircraft for 15 minutes and suffered only frostbite and some fractures. Improper bolts used to replace the windshield two days earlier resulted in the accident.

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