23 October 2010

Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes

Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes and sparks panic - Telegraph: "A small airliner crashed into a house, killing a British pilot and 19 others after a crocodile smuggled into the aircraft in a sports bag escaped and started a panic."

An odd sort of story to publish two months after the event, which perhaps gives it something of the flavour of an urban legend, especially the "sole survivor" angle.

But, assuming it is true, one of the fascinating aspects of the story is thinking about how aircraft accident investigators would have worked out what had happened if there had been no survivors. The cockpit voice recorder would surely not record panic in the passenger cabin, and the flight recorder would just record that the plane suddenly became nose-heavy and crashed. The position of bodies might show how that happened, but it would not explain why. It could have become one of the great unsolved mysteries of aviation.


James Higham said...

Was the sole survivor the croc?

Anonymous said...

What type of air craft was this ?Normally in an airline aircraft there would be a division between the cockpit & the Fuselage (please mind my spelling here)where passengers would be & further more the baggage would be locked elsewhere. Still there is the question of how large/big was the crocodile ?. Almost All Airline aircraft have two pilots at any time therefore minimising the chances of a crash.Unless I'm missing something here I would give 25% of the story to be true but again I may be wrong.


Steve Hayes said...

The point of the story is not what happened in the cockpit, but what happened in the passenger cabin. Passenger aircraft are designed to have the passengers evenly distributed throughout the plane, and when seats are allocated before boarding, if the plane is not full, this distribution is maintained - they don't fill the seats from the front first and leave the back seats empty.

I once drove a double-decker bus on a school excursion trip, where the bus was half full, and the kids all decided to sit on the top deck. I found the bus became difficult to control. So I can imagine that when the pilots were coming in to land with most of the passengers squeezed to the front of the cabin, they might also find the plane difficult to control and behaving in unexpected ways.

The part I find difficult to believe is that a passenger was allowed to board with a live crocodile in hand luggage,


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