Is It A Bad Time To Fly: Deaths, Attacks, Bites, And Malfunctions

Plane crashes are statistically rare, but Sunday was full of bad news for both the airline industry and passengers with a series of assaults, deaths, and a mechanical malfunction.

One man died on Sunday after biting another passenger on an Aer Lingus flight from Lisbon to Dublin, while another man attacked and choked a woman who leaned her seat back while flying to San Francisco.

Meanwhile, a JetBlue plane suffered a mechanical malfunction, forcing it to divert to a larger airport after its wing flaps got stuck in the upright position.

Irish police arrested a Portuguese woman who was on an Aer Lingus flight from Lisbon, Portugal, to Dublin, Ireland, under a drug trafficking law after a 24-year-old fellow passenger went crazy, bit another passenger, and then died, according to the Guardian.

The Brazilian man lost consciousness after being restrained, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Cork, Ireland. During the three-hour delay, authorities questioned all 168 passengers and six crew members before searching their luggage. They discovered an unknown powdery white substance that was sent for testing.

Meanwhile, a man on a flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco was detained by the FBI when the plane he was on was forced to return to L.A. after he choked the woman seated in front of him, a stewardess told the USA Today.

“She shouted for help and the crew came to see what happened.”

The plane was only in the air for about thirteen minutes before the woman in front of him reclined her seat, which apparently offended him because he began choking her.

“The pilot in command of Southwest flight #2010 from LAX to San Francisco International airport returned to Los Angeles to allow police access to the cabin because of a rapidly escalating situation involving passengers who were not traveling together.”

After returning to LAX to unload the troublemaker, the remaining passengers and crew switched planes and made their flight to San Francisco, arriving five hours late.

Bad luck for airlines Sunday
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Travelers are stopped at a security check point at Los Angeles International Airport on November 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The FBI says they have questioned and released the man involved, and still need to conduct more interviews with eyewitnesses.

Also on Sunday, passengers on a JetBlue flight got airsick when a pilot kept circling because the plane’s wing flaps remained stuck in an upright position.


The flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Worcester, Massachusetts, was forced to land at Boston’s Logan Airport. The jet circled for 10 minutes, making several passengers sick before landing at faster than normal speeds and using more runway than normal, according to the Telegram.

Bad luck follows airlines Sunday, mid air choking, assault, malfunction
CHICAGO - OCTOBER 26: A JetBlue Airways jet sits on the tarmac at O'Hare Airport October 26, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Fire trucks rolled out to meet the plane as a precaution, and officials checked the plane’s brakes to ensure they weren’t too hot before the plane was allowed to proceed to the terminal.

JetBlue gave every passenger onboard the plane a $50 service credit and a taxi voucher for travel from Logan to Worcester, or directly to their homes.

In other airline related trouble, a United Airlines flight from Honolulu to Washington, D.C., was forced to return to Hawaii Saturday about an hour and a half after takeoff because of a mechanical problem. One of the passengers on board tweeted that one of the plane’s engines had failed, but the airline’s spokesman was unable to confirm that, according to NBC News.

[Photo by Rob Carr / Getty Images]