Lots of Wackiness Wednesday

Lots of odd stories from yesterday, courtesy of USA Today’s excellent airline blog. I’m too lazy to re-write, so I’m just cutting and pasting:

Airline and security officials were kept busy Tuesday by a string of events involving unruly passengers, security violations and emergency landings. In no particular order: A woman was taken off a Paris-to-Cincinnati flight just before it left France because of suspicious wires poking out of her leather jacket. But it turns out she was not a threat; she was wearing a self-heating motorcycle jacket, designed to warm up like an electric blanket, says The Associated Press.

One passenger who was apparently a threat was a “distraught” female passenger briefly detained by authorities after allegedly attacking a flight attendant on an American Airlines jet from Miami. She was said to be upset at not being allowed to use the plane’s kitchen area as shortcut to the lavatory.

Want more? How about the Pennsylvania teen officials charged withattempting to sneak a loaded BB gun onto an Atlanta-bound flight by hiding the weapon in a pillow. FBI investigators said the 19-year-old wanted to “impress his friends with his ability to sneak a gun onto an airplane.”

A Milwaukee-to-Minneapolis flight ended smoothly despite the captain suffering an undisclosed-but-incapacitating medical condition. The co-pilotlanded the plane by himself .

Things didn’t go as smoothly for Continental passengers on a Tokyo-to-Houston flight, which was forced to land on the remote Midway Island Atoll after a mechanical problem. The flight’s 294 passengers were stranded on the atoll — population 35 — as a plane ferrying replacement parts had to wait until after dark to land so it could avoid a massive flock of sea birds, which was expected to scatter after sunset.

And in Canada, government officials were pointing the finger at Air Canada for a customs snafuthat allowed 209 international passengers and crew to walk off an October flight without being checked by customs. One passenger disappeared and could not be contacted for nine days. He was eventually allowed to make a declaration by telephone, in which he stated that he had not transported any contraband goods into the USA.

Adding to the list, a reader pointed out this nugget from the Billings Gazette: A Northwest flight from Minneapolis to Boise was diverted to Billings, Mont., after a drunk passenger allegedly assaulted other fliers on the jet. The 55-year-old New Jersey woman was removed from the plane, and the flight continued to Boise.

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