Attention Japanese Pilots: The Boeing 737 Is Not Meant to Fly Upside Down

aana plane01.jpg
The Boeing 737 is a marvel of aeronautical technology.

It is not, however, a goddamn Blue Angel jet.

A Japanese co-pilot recently tested this distinction when he mistook one knob for another knob and, in turn, became a knob himself.

Interactive Intelligence reports that early this month, a flight from Naha to Haneda, Japan with 117 crew and passengers on board took a rather terrifying plunge toward earth that at one time had the plane flying nearly belly up.

Following the revelation that the airplane had flown almost belly-up, ANA Senior Executive Vice President Shin Nagase said at a separate news conference, "We deeply apologize for causing tremendous trouble and anxiety to our passengers." The unintended maneuver was caused when the copilot, in trying to unlock the cockpit door for the captain who was returning from a rest room in the cabin, mistook the rudder trim knob for the cockpit door lock switch nearby.

Somehow no passengers were hurt, though two flight attendants were slightly injured.

In fairness to the co-pilot, the rudder-trim knob and the cockpit door lock are very near each other on the instrument panel.

Over at Gizmodo, a reader sent a snapshot of the two.

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Note: The big knob is the more important one.

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