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Sometimes, a Passenger Revolt is a GOOD THING

February 3, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Pilots,Security,Travel Safety

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.

5 Responses to “Sometimes, a Passenger Revolt is a GOOD THING”

  1. Alex says:

    All this mess was started by Ksenia Sobchak, the Russian Paris Hilton, who apparently already made trouble on Aeroflot flight before by not turning her cellphone off while the aircraft was in flight even after flight attendants threatened her with arrest. She was taken off that flight by the Russian authorities after the plane landed. I read that Aeroflot plans to sue her if their expenses for the delay and crew change are too high.

  2. Alexey says:

    You’ve got to be kidding:
    Ms Sobchak, one of Russia’s best-known personalities, demanded that all four pilots be replaced.

    If pax try to pull this in US they will be arrested.

    Rick I really hope you will edit your rather unwise advise that can get people in trouble.

  3. Aaron says:

    How can Ksenia get into trouble for inflight calls when the airplane was not off the ground? Your story doesn’t check out.

    It’s the corporate culture and I hate flying Aeroflot. Quoted from the movie “The Fly”, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

  4. Alex says:

    I hate flying Aeroflot, too, Aaron. i read somewhere in the news a while ago, that she turned her electronic device before the plane landed (flight from NCE to SVO, if I recall it correctly). before she met with authoritites, she had some time to call her elite friends, and so the police let her go after a brief lecture.
    Just because some spoiled diva accused an experienced pilot of being drunk, it does not mean she is right.

  5. Alex says:

    and why would she demand that ALL pilots be replaced? maybe she has had too much to drink herself. If this flight was going the opposite direction, departing from JFK to SVO, they would have probably removed her from the flight instead of the crew.

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