Wednesday 29 May 2024

Man runs naked down aisle of Virgin aircraft


A Virgin Australia flight from Perth (PER/YPPH) to Melbourne (MEL/YMML) had to return and make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff when a male passenger reportedly sprinted naked down the aisle, causing a crew member to fall.

The aircraft, which was scheduled to depart at 18.10 but departed one-hour twenty-four minutes late at 19.34, departed from runway 03 and after turning east, climbed to flight level 370. One hour into the flight the pilots turned the aircraft around and landed back on runway 21 at 21.56.

Upon the plane's return to Perth airport on Monday evening, Australian federal police officers were waiting and arrested the man about an hour into the Melbourne-bound flight. On Tuesday, a Virgin spokesperson stated that the flight, which usually lasts around three and a half hours, had to turn back due to a "disruptive passenger," who was then removed by the police.

"Our guests' and crew's safety is our utmost concern, and we deeply regret any inconvenience caused to our passengers," said the spokesperson. The federal police confirmed they were called to the scene by airport staff and that "officers apprehended a man who allegedly sprinted naked through the plane mid-flight, causing a crew member to fall to the floor."

A passenger named Sterling recounted that an hour into the flight, he suddenly heard someone running in the aisle; the man was unclothed and heading towards the front of the aircraft.

The 23-year-old mining engineer, who was traveling to Melbourne for his university graduation the following morning, expressed his initial shock at the sight of the individual rushing towards the cockpit. Sterling described the aftermath of the incident, where the man supposedly knocked down the flight attendant, as filled with "much shouting and commotion" near the cockpit area.

"The first thought is the fear of an attack, which is quite terrifying when you're on a plane," he said.

He further explained, "A brave individual from business class immediately stood up to intervene, followed by two others who later managed to subdue and restrain the man on the ground."

The man was eventually restrained, handcuffed, and escorted to the rear of the aircraft; Sterling added.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Virgin Australia
Code: VA/VOZ
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8FE
Registration: VH-YQG
Serial Number: 40999
Engines:  2 x CFMI CFM56-7B26
First Flew: 10th January 2012
Age: 12.3 Years

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