Bizarre News: Slide Deploys; Oversized Plane Lands at Wrong Airport; Gold Found Aboard Aircraft

This Boeing 747 “Dreamlifter” aircraft — seen here in Anchorage, Alaska — landed at the wrong airport in Kansas. It successfully departed from that tiny airport, fortunately avoiding what could have been a difficult situation to resolve. Photograph by FlyerTalk member CDKing. Click on the photograph for information about the most recent gathering of FlyerTalk members in Kodiak, Alaska.

There has been some bizarre news concerning commercial aviation which has occurred this week:

Emergency Slide Partially Deploys During Flight An Embraer 190 aircraft which operated as jetBlue Airways flight 1266 from Fort Myers to Boston was diverted to Orlando yesterday afternoon due to an emergency slide which suddenly inflated partially during the flight. There were no injuries as a result of this incident, which caused the aircraft to be taxied to a gate at Orlando International Airport. Passengers reportedly deplaned through the rear door of the aircraft — which was taken out of service for further inspection — and boarded a different aircraft to continue on their journey to Boston.

Pilots Mistakenly Land Jumbo Jet at Small Airport A Boeing 747 “Dreamlifter” cargo aircraft which operated as Atlas Air flight 4241 from New York mistakenly landed at Colonel James Jabara Airport in Wichita yesterday instead of the intended destination of McConnell Air Force Base a few miles away. The cargo hold of the Boeing 747 “Dreamlifter” aircraft is purportedly the largest by volume of any aircraft in the world. Although the runway at Jabara Airport is supposedly too short by 3,098 feet for the distance required, the Boeing 747 “Dreamlifter” cargo aircraft successfully departed from the tiny airport earlier today — and a “tug” vehicle was needed to assist in turning the aircraft around prior to its departure. This incident is being investigated by officials of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Gold Bars Found Aboard Aircraft A cache of 24-karat gold bars worth greater than $1.1 million were found in a lavatory by cleaning personnel aboard an aircraft operated by Jet Airways while at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport near Kolkata in India, according to ABC News. The aircraft had arrived at the airport from Bangkok before its scheduled flight to Patna. The two bags of gold bars — each weighing approximately one kilogram each — was confiscated by customs officials, who are investigating this incident thought to be the result of smuggling.

Boeing 737-500 Aircraft Crashes in Russia; No Survivors Although this news is far more tragic than bizarre, a Boeing 737-500 aircraft which operated as Tatarstan Airlines flight 363 from Moscow crashed on arrival in Kazan earlier this week, burst into flames and killed all occupants of the aircraft — including 44 passengers and six members of the flight crew. A criminal investigation pertaining to this incident was launched.

FlyerTalk members question whether or not they feel safe flying as passengers on commercial airlines based in Russia. Although the incident earlier this week involved an airplane built in the United States, there have been tragic incidents which have occurred on aircraft built in Russia — such as this crash of a Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft which killed four people; this crash of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft which killed 45 people reportedly due to pilot error; and this crash of a Yakovlev-42 charter aircraft from which only two people reportedly survived.

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