2015 Darwin Award in Aviation Candidates

The Darwin Awards are an off-shoot of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species,” there are some rules, but the general idea, as pulled from the most prominent site:

Nominees significantly improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race in an obviously stupid way. They are self-selected examples of the dangers inherent in a lack of common sense, and all human races, cultures, and socioeconomic groups are eligible to compete.

Ok, that may be too harsh for what follows, but hopefully you’ll find it as an entertaining break from your day.

Air India



The struggling airline had a rough year, here’s some highlights.

Air India Flight Turns Back due to Rodent Stowaway

Air India’s had a rough year this year, but Flight AI 131 traveling in late December from Mumbai to London decided to turn back somewhere around Iran, when a rat was seen scurrying around. Apparently London is a more favorable climate for rats — who knew? Unfortunately, this one’s genes were eliminated from the population, as an Air India spokesperson said:

That the plane will be fumigated and the presence of a rodent was being investigated.

Poor Rat…

Air India Grounds Pilots after Cockpit Fight

Apparently a number of unnamed sources reported that:

The co-pilot abused and beat up the commander.

The airline reported that there were only “heated exchanges,” and as a result, the pilots were grounded. I suppose this is a positive after a pilot was locked out of the cockpit after a bathroom break a few years ago. Of course, then maybe he wouldn’t have been abused?

Air India Worker Sucked into Engine

This one is a sad one. an Air India technician was “sucked” into an Airbus A319’s engine, as the aircraft was pushing back for departure. Apparently the co-pilot fired up the engine, but there is great mystery:

“No one knew what happened. All of a sudden we heard that the technician has been sucked into the engine,” the newspaper quoted an airline source as saying.

An Air India official told The Hindustan Times they were “absolutely clueless on how this person was near the aircraft”.

Poor Technician….

Chinese in the Skies

In January, China created a “National Uncivilized Traveler Record,” realizing that there were a few too many incidents hitting the headlines. A handful of things had happened before then, but also some after, here’s a few:

China Eastern Fliers Open Emergency Exits to Protest Delay

Because the best solution to a bad situation is to make one worse, two passengers decided that opening the emergency exit doors while taxiing would get them to their destination faster. Apparently the two folks impacted their entire tour group of 25, who were held for questioning. Of course, others may have been closer.

Passenger Deploy’s Emergency Slide For Expedited Departure

A passenger had places to be, and people to see, so rather than exit the plane the normal way, through a jetway, he decided that he would open an emergency exit and slide toward his next appointment.


When questioned:

He responded: “to get off the plane quicker.” He claims he did not pay attention to the safety briefing at the beginning of the flight, and did not know to only use the emergency slide in case of emergency.

It’s not clear if he ever made it to where he was trying to go, as, deploying the emergency slide is kind’ve frowned upon.

Chinese Passenger Scalds AirAsia Flight Attendant

This wasn’t just a good talking to, this was hot water and noodles. The woman was part of a group that was unhappy with their seats. As if scalding a flight attendant with hot water wasn’t enough to get her kicked off of the plane:

The cabin erupted in chaos after the flight attendant was berated and splashed with hot water – even after a cabin crew member helped the couple change seats.

During the chaos a man believed to be the woman’s boyfriend jumped out of his seat and angrily threatened to blow up the plane as the injured flight attendant was tended to by her co-workers.

The pilot decided to return to Bangkok, rather than make the flight to Nanjing, China

It’s not clear if they were ever permitted back on a plane, but they might be better for that, as China’s National Tourism Administration said:

The tourists disrupted the flight, hurt other passengers and ‘badly damaged the overall image of the Chinese people.

So, yeah, next time, just pay up to select the seat you want.

Pilot Threatens Emergency Landing after Mid-Air Brawl About a Crying Baby

I’m not a parent, but I’ve had crying baby’s on planes before. You just sort’ve learn to deal with it, and figure that the parent is doing the best they can. Well, Unfortunately two women complained about a baby baby crying, and it eventually turned into a full out brawl. Just check out this photo to get an idea:


Well, rightly so, the Pilot of the Air China flight from Chongqing to Hong Kong wanted to diffuse the situation, they did this through threatening to turn back. The other passengers also helped de-escalate the situation.

Self Upgrader Dragged Off Flight

United Flight 87 passengers had some entertainment, as a man was:

The man was apparently caught multiple times trying to seat himself in business class, and apparently stole champagne from up front and drank it walking through the aisles.

Of course, the crew, knowing that this was just not acceptable behavior wanted the gentleman (if we can call him that), off the plane. Unfortunately he just didn’t want to go willingly. Check out the video:

As Gary Leff states in his post on the matter, the gentleman was upgrading to Business Class on a pre-merger Continental 777. I’ve flown that B/E Aerospace product, and I’m not sure its worth that much of a fight….


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