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  Airplane Etiquette-The Top Ten | Strangest Things-While Flying | Truly Funny Stories | Friendly Flying

Anecdotes from British Air Traffic Controller   :

    • The first was overheard by the stewardess on approach into LHR. The First officer had come on the intercom to tell the passengers that if they looked out of the window they would see Windsor Castle, to which an American Lady remarked to her partner "What a silly place to build a castle - so close to Heathrow Airport".

    • I also heard another story whilst I was working at MAN airport, but this is very grim. A family showed up to check in their grandmother for a flight with Pakistan International to ISB and requested a wheelchair to take her to the aircraft.The airline keen to help out provided this for them and the lady was checked in. The family advised the check-in agent that the elderly grandmother was felling unwell and was very tired.This the agent thought was nothing too out of the ordinary and then off the family went. It was only on reaching the security search point, when the staff went to check the woman that they realised she was in actual fact dead !. It turned out that the family were trying to send her home to Pakistan for burial, but since the cost of airfreighting the dead body in a lead lined coffin was so great - they had come up with the idea of sending her as a normal passenger as the ticket was cheaper ( and she only needed a one way)!.

    • Another story happened only a couple of months ago at LHR when a Malasian Airlines 747-400 was on start up on it's way to KUL. The aircraft had been on the ground for most of the day before setting out on it's return journey back to KUL, and due to this was doing whats called a 'wet start' (which is basically like pulling out the choke on a car when the engine is cold) this causes alot of smoke to come out of the engines (and sometimes a small flame) when the fuel ignites. A passenger sat next to one of the emergency exits (behind the engines) noticed this and before the crew could stop him - he had flung open the door and was half way down the chute with another 10 or so passengers behind him who too had thought that the aircraft was about to explode into flames. This caused a 12 hour delay to the flight whilst a new chute was flown in and fitted to the aircraft, and also gave the startup guy a heart attack when he saw all these people flying down the chute right behind the engines which had just been started.

      Submitted by Lee Greaves Aircraft Despatcher, British Midland, LHR


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