It took two days to announce what actually happened aboard flight 940 from Chicago to Frankfurt on Monday. But when it finally came out yesterday that a cockpit coffee spill was to blame for a false hijacking signal, a communications failure, and 255 passengers being forced to make an emergency landing in Toronto, the news became the WTF headline of the week. But as you might imagine, coffee spills are far from the weirdest thing to force a plane to divert to the closest airport. Here are five more.
In July 2009, 50-year-old New Yorker Keith Wright was aboard a flight to Los Angeles when he decided it would be a good idea to strip his clothes off and run around the airplane like Greased-Up Deaf Guy on Family Guy. The flight was diverted to Albuquerque, and the flight crew had to handcuff the man's arms and ankles, then turn him over to the cops, still nude.
A little more than a year later, in June 2010, 27-year-old Air Force officer Derek Stansberry was on a flight from Paris to Atlanta and got all loopy on Ambien sleeping pills, making up crazy tales about how there were bombs in his shoes, his passport was fake, and there were people on the plane following him. The flight landed in Bangor, Maine, and Stansberry ended up in deep shit once he woke up from a refreshing sleep with only minor side effects, which could have included dry mouth, constipation, and strange dreams.
Next we've got Matthew Kleindorfer, a 32-year-old Las Vegas man who wanted everyone on his flight to Salt Lake City to know that he wasn't actually Matthew Kleindorfer, he was a space alien, and obviously that made him more qualified to fly the plane than any mere human. He was arrested--ahem, abducted--and taken to jail, where he was likely probed repeatedly.
And of course who can forget Mandy, the 12-pound terrier who just last month on a flight from Newark to Phoenix broke out of her cage and went on a passenger-biting spree, forcing the plane to land in Pittsburgh, where presumably the dog was melted down into steel beams.
So there you go. Coffee spills forcing diversions: reasonably weird. Space-alien wannabes and naked dudes: Now we're talking.