Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Air Rage + Recline Button = Fighter Jets

Air Force F-16 Jet (image: AV8NLVR/flickr)
This straight from the Washington Post:

A passenger hit the recline button and sent his seat intimately close to the lap of the guy sitting behind him.  What followed: a smack to the head, peacemakers diving about the cabin to intervene and a pair of Air Force F-16 fighter jets scrambling into the night skies over Washington.

Example of the offending recline button.
(image credit: scoobyfoo/flickr)
It happened late Sunday, just after a United Airlines Boeing 767 bound for Ghana with 144 passengers took off from Dulles International Airport.

Not long after the 10:44 p.m. departure for the overnight flight, the offending seat was lowered into the offended lap, and a fight ensued. A flight attendant and another passenger jumped in between, said sources familiar with the incident who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide details.

The pilot has complete authority over the aircraft, a United spokesman said, and he decided to return to Dulles. A 767 can take off with 16,700 gallons of fuel and the full load of fuel weighs more than 57 tons. Although a 767 can get that weight airborne, it can’t land with it. The United pilot flew round for about 25 minutes, shadowed by the fighter jets, to burn off an undetermined amount of fuel.

Audio transmissions indicate that the two Air Force fighters scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base at 11:03 p.m, just as the plane reentered Washington airspace. Five minutes later, the fighter escorts took up position 1,000 feet above the jetliner as it headed toward Dulles, sources said.

Visit for the complete article. Everyone has their opinion on when or when not to recline. It's only a matter of time before it goes another step further.


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