Sunday, January 21, 2018
Bizarre News

A small bird managed to take over a Delta flight

On late Saturday morning, a bird flew out of the cold Detroit sky, across an airfield and into the cockpit of a jetliner bound south for Atlanta.

Some believe it was a sparrow. Some, a hummingbird. A Delta Air Lines spokesman referred to it only as "stowaway" - and in any case it would be a long delay before anyone on Flight 1943 could catch the thing to get a look at it.

Shane Perry, a minister with a connection and a speech to make, was waiting to board when he saw the pilot walk off the jet bridge and whisper something to the ticket agent.

"He said, ‘In my 18 years of doing this, this is the first time I’ve ever seen this,’ " Perry told The Washington Post. "There’s a bird in the cockpit."

The ticket agent laughed at this. It still seemed funny to Perry, too, at that point. He boarded the plane with the other passengers and watched as yellow-vested workers rummaged through the cockpit.

They didn’t find the bird in the first few minutes, or the next few. The pilot stood in the aisle, hands in pockets, and watched like everyone else.

An hour later, Perry was still sitting in a grounded airplane, watching winter birds flit around outside his window while the stowaway stayed hidden in the cockpit.

There was some talk that morning of moving everyone to a different plane, but, eventually, the pilot’s voice came out over the intercom and announced that the bird must have left.

"The explanation was the bird had apparently flown out of some type of hatch under the plane, which seemed strange to me," Perry said.

He recalled the pilot telling the passengers: "We’re going to take off, but if I hear any chirping in the cockpit, I’ll turn around."

"I took that as a joke," Perry said.

Now accounts begin to differ again.

Perry doesn’t think they were in the air more than five minutes before the bird made its second appearance. The Delta spokesman described the time, vaguely, as "shortly after takeoff."

For Brian Buonassissi, a traveling DJ in the middle of an exhausting New York-to-Detroit-to-Atlanta-to-Florida connection, it felt as if they’d been flying for an hour before the captain came back on the intercom and said: "The bird is back."

"The bird is flying around the cockpit," he announced, as Perry recalled it.

If the hunt for this elusive bird - which Buonassissi thought the pilot said was a hummingbird, though Perry was never sure - had begun in the morning as a comedy, it seemed less funny now at midday, thousands of feet above the ground.

Seated close behind the cockpit door, Perry imagined what might happen if the bird flapped into an instrument panel.

Back in aisle 14, Buonassissi heard his seatmates break into a chorus of groans, astonished laughs and "what did he say"s at the announcement of the bird’s return, and what it meant for 100-odd humans on board.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the Captain made the decision to return to Detroit to avoid a potential distraction during flight," the Delta spokesman said in the statement.

Buonassissi thinks the bird, like everyone on the flight, made it halfway to Georgia before the plane turned back. A flight tracker shows the plane really just made a big loop around Detroit and landed back where it started, shortly after noon.

And then the men in yellow vests came back on board, and the search resumed.

By now people were in danger of missing their connections. So Buonassissi and a couple other passengers walked back to the gate to try to find other flights.

Perry stayed in his seat and watched a somewhat disgruntled-looking pilot watch the workers search for the bird.

Buonassissi got back on the plane, having decided that there was no faster way than this to get to his DJ gig.

A few more minutes passed, and then he saw it:

A worker came out of the cockpit. In his arms was a towel. In the towel was a very small bird that had managed to ground a 55-ton flying machine.

The plane took off again in the early afternoon. Perry made it to his speech, and Buonassissi made his connection.

"The bird was safely removed and set free," the spokesman wrote.

It has not been seen again.

Comments
Thanks Twitter: Fakesters pose as jackpot winner Shane Missler

Thanks Twitter: Fakesters pose as jackpot winner Shane Missler

Jackpot winner and Florida man Shane Missler wants to leave behind a legacy with his winnings.But he won’t be doing that by doling out cash to Twitter followers.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Florida man, 20, claims $450M Mega Millions jackpotAn account cunningl...
Published: 01/16/18

Florida man robbed at gunpoint in dating app setup

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Florida police say a man thought he was going on a date set through an app, but instead was attacked and robbed at gunpoint.Police say a 21-year-old Taborice Lee Foster lured his target using Grindr, a dating app for gay men. When...
Published: 01/14/18
Tide Pod Challenge: Why teens and internet celebs risk their lives by eating them

Tide Pod Challenge: Why teens and internet celebs risk their lives by eating them

A new internet trend has parents worrying more about their teenagers ingesting laundry soap than their unknowing toddlers. It started as a joke: memes circulating on the web, poking fun at the fact that the squishy, brightly colored laundry pods loo...
Published: 01/12/18

Bathroom behavior got this Florida man kicked off his flight

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Frequent flyer tip: if you’re going to use the airplane bathroom make sure your aim is good. Otherwise it could get you kicked off the flight.Flight attendants say Dante Bencivenga used the bathroom on a Spirit airlines flight befo...
Published: 01/07/18
Florida man calls 911 to report...himself drunk driving

Florida man calls 911 to report...himself drunk driving

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida are sharing an unusual 911 call they got on New Year’s Eve from a man who said he was driving drunk and needed police. Polk County Sheriff’s officials say the dispatcher "did a fantastic job" urging Mi...
Published: 01/06/18
A small bird managed to take over a Delta flight

A small bird managed to take over a Delta flight

On late Saturday morning, a bird flew out of the cold Detroit sky, across an airfield and into the cockpit of a jetliner bound south for Atlanta.Some believe it was a sparrow. Some, a hummingbird. A Delta Air Lines spokesman referred to it only as "s...
Updated one month ago
Woman gets $284 billion electric bill, wonders whether it’s her Christmas lights

Woman gets $284 billion electric bill, wonders whether it’s her Christmas lights

What can you buy with $284 billion?You could own all of Netflix. Or purchase 747 Boeing 747s, with change to spare. Or erase the national debts of Venezuela, Nigeria, Peru and Iceland, combined.Or, if you’re Mary Horomanski, you could pay for one mon...
Updated one month ago
Package for Steven Mnuchin that causes a bomb scare turns out to be filled with horse manure

Package for Steven Mnuchin that causes a bomb scare turns out to be filled with horse manure

A suspicious package that appeared Saturday night in the swanky Los Angeles neighborhood of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin prompted lengthy street closures and a sizable response by local and federal authorities, including members of the Los Angel...
Updated one month ago

Florida man fighting for his life after chasing monkey

DESTIN, Fla. — A Florida man now living in Bali is fighting for his life after he fell from a roof while chasing a monkey that had stolen his favorite Pittsburgh Steelers cap.The Northwest Florida Daily News reported that Jeff "Swede" Swedenhjelm fel...
Updated one month ago
Florida man arrested for calling 911 to complain about small restaurant portions

Florida man arrested for calling 911 to complain about small restaurant portions

STUART, Fla. — A Florida man complaining about his dinner to police has landed in trouble.The 51-year-old man was charged with misusing the emergency 911 line after he called dispatchers twice to complain about the size of the meal served to him at C...
Updated one month ago