9 Bizarre Reasons Why Planes Had To Make Emergency Landings

by SharonKurheg

If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you’re well aware of the spiel the flight attendants give to help ensure everyone’s safety in the event of an unplanned landing. When a plane has to land unexpectedly, though, it’s not always for a safety-related emergency but for, shall we say, other reasons. Like these…

The Cattle In Cargo Farted Too Much

You never know what might be in the cargo section of a plane – I’ve heard of luxury cars, horses and human bodies being shipped home to be buried. But how about this? There were so many live cows in the cargo area that their methane emissions caused the plane to overheat! Yup, weird but true – during a flight over the Irish Sea, the pilot mistakenly thought there was a fire on board after a sudden increase in temperature, so he sent out a distress signal. On closer inspection, all the airport workers found were some sheepish-looking cattle.

And It’s Not Just Cows!

A Transylvania Airlines pilot, flying from Dubai to Amsterdam, had to make an emergency landing after a fight broke out over another passenger’s continuous flatulence. Don’t eat beans before you go on a plane, people!

Snakes On A Plane

It’s probably a nightmare for some, but yep,  an Aeroméxico flight was forced to make a very quick landing after a stowaway snake slid out of an overhead compartment and into the cabin. No one ever figured out how the serpent was snuck (sneaked?) through security, but let’s give a round of applause to the two passengers who caught the snake “using a blanket and magazines,” and held onto it until animal control was able to come and take it away. In a similar incident, a plane flying out of Egypt had to make an emergency landing after a passenger was discovered to have smuggled a venomous cobra onboard.

The Birds

Keeping up with the animal theme, more than one plane has had to make an emergency landing soon after takeoff because of striking a bird (or the bird striking the plane). Fortunately, some airports are working on ways to decrease the chances of that happening and one airport has developed a particularly humane way of dealing with the problem.

Gerard Depardieu Had To Go

French actor Gerard Depardieu was denied the use of the toilets because the seat belt signs were lit and the plane was taxiing while getting ready to take off from Paris to Dublin.

In response, he went to the back of the plane and tried to pee into a bottle. Unfortunately, the bottle overflowed and created a biohazard on the floor. The plane had to turn back and the actor was kicked off the flight.


The Passenger Who Was REALLY Hungry

A man on a flight from Dubai to Kozhikode in India jumped on the food cart and “nestled in” with the snacks, and became aggressive with flight staff and his fellow passengers when he was asked to move. The bizarre incident, which took place on an IndiGo flight, caused the pilot to divert the plane to Mumbai, where the man was escorted from the plane by police.


An In-Flight Fight

During the pandemic, having to land a plane unexpectedly because of a passenger’s inappropriate behavior due to being told to wear a mask was far more common than anyone would have liked. But even before Covid, fights happened.

A flight was going from Newark to Denver. A man seated in 12B was using a Knee Defender to stop the woman in front of her from reclining while he used his laptop. The flight attendant asked him to remove the device and he refused, so the woman in 11B stood up, turned around and threw a cup of water at him. This caused the pilot to divert and make an emergency landing in Chicago, while the 2 passengers were unloaded.

Houston, We Have A Problem

An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York had to make an emergency landing in Kansas City because a passenger wouldn’t stop singing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at the top of her voice. She apparently began her “performance” shortly after takeoff and continued until the pilot decided to make the unexpected diversion about halfway through the flight. And yep, she was still singing even while she was being removed from the plane. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

A Poopado (Poonami?)

A British Airways flight from Heathrow to Dubai was forced to turn around about 30 minutes after takeoff due to a phantom pooper who “decorated” the inside of the lavatory and left a smell so horrible that the pilot called a meeting of cabin crew to determine how they would deal with the situation. Yeah. Ew.

A huge thank-you to Michael G. for the heads up about this subject!

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