Most terrifying air travel incidents of 2013

Planes bursting into flames, and a mad pilot

A round-up of some of the most terrifying travel incidents in 2013 is presented by Yahoo! New Zealand Travel. Those involving fatalities were excluded from the list.

What could have been the worst air collision in history took place over Scotland in June. Two 747s carrying a combined 1,000 people came within seconds of crashing when all four pilots seemed to misinterpret instructions from air traffic control.

In October, a Spirit Airlines plane suffered an “explosion” in one of its engines en route from Dallas to Atlanta. Passengers saw flames and sent farewell texts to loved ones. Fortunately, however, the plane landed safely.

In August it emerged that both pilots on a UK-bound flight fell asleep in the cockpit, leaving the plane in total control of the autopilot. The name of the airline has not been made public.

Horror stories about turbulence are as common as ever. Passengers who didn’t have their seatbelts on during a TAM Airlines flight from Madrid to Sao Paulo in September were thrown against the roof of the cabin. Two people were hospitalised and a number injured. Many had been sleeping at the time.

A Singapore Airlines flight hit turbulence during meal time in May. Literally everything hit the roof. One passenger said it was “like falling off a cliff”.

In November, hundreds of passengers escaped a burning plane after it went up in flames on landing at Montreal-Trudeau Airport in Canada.

But probably the most disturbing incident took place on an Air Canada flight when the pilot ran out of the cockpit screaming he wanted to get off the plane. The pilot, who suffered an “undiagnosed condition”, was restrained in a first-class seat by a flight attendant and the flight was diverted to the nearest airport.

Yahoo! New Zealand Travel

[pictured: Aircraft downtown Hong Kong; photo by Luis Argerich]


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