UPDATE: See the latest twist, here.
Very strange – and dangerous – story out of Russia (thanks to the UK’s timesonline).
It seems passengers boarding a flight from Moscow to New York – on the Russian airline Aeroflot – thought the pilot seemed drunk. And not just a little. According to witnesses, he had bloodshot eyes, was unsteady on his feet, and slurred and garbled his words.
The passengers complained. They were ignored. They complained again. Nothing. The passengers began to panic.
Finally, some Aerflot officials boarded and tried to reassure passengers that it was “not such a big deal” if the pilot was drunk, because – get this – the “aircraft practically flew itself”!
Then the pilot in question noted that there were other pilots in the cockpit, and that he personally would sit quietly in a corner and not touch a single control. Unbelievable.
Basically, the passengers said they weren’t going anywhere with this crew (apparently all of them were unhelpful in the extreme) and the airline grudgingly brought in new personnel.
Aeroflot later claimed, the pilot in question had no alcohol in his system, and that the passengers were victims of some kind of “mass pyschosis”.
I say, bravo to those passengers. Everyone should stand their ground in a situation like this. If authorities take no action, get off that plane. Let me repeat: get off that plane.