Wednesday, November 26, 2014

And You Thought Your Flight Delays Were Bad

Passengers (allegedly) push a plane to get it
going in Siberia amid temperatures in the minus 50s.  
I'm sure it's havoc in the nation's airports today, especially on the East Coast, where a snowstorm is totally screwing up Thanksgiving travel.   

But if you're stuck in some bland airport terminal, waiting for word on a flight to your destination that may or may not come in the next week, it could be worse.

I'm serious.

Up in Siberia, a plane with 70 passengers couldn't leave because the temperature was a bracing 58 below zero. (As you can imagine, winters are a bit tough in Siberia)

It was too cold the brake pads froze. If the airplane could be moved a little bit, the brake pads might have gotten warm enough for the plane to actually leave.

So, the plucky passengers all got out and pushed the plane a few feet, says the Siberian Times. 

If you're stuck at LaGuardia or something, just thank your lucky stars you don't have to push a 747 out of a snowbank.

According to Siberian Times:
Another view of the passengers pushing the
plane in frigid Siberia.  

"Reports of the incident led to worldwide praise for the stoic Siberians for their ' an do chutzpah' in the words of Agence France Presse. 

'Siberians are so tough that for them pushing a frozen plane along a runway is a piece of cake,' added Russian daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Social media sites were equally gushing in commending the oil workers. 'Who mentioned sanctions?...We just push together and off we fly,' wrote Dmitry Kozlov on Twitter.

'It's just an ordinary morning in Russia. People push-start a plane at minus 50,' said (one passenger)"

Siberian Times went on to say that local officials and those with the airline were not amused by the reports of passengers pushing the plane.

Those officials said the passengers didn't push the plane; it was just a social media stunt. The passengers said they really pushed the plane, so there's a bit of a conflict there.

Again, from the Siberian Times:

"Airport chief Maxim Aksyonov claimed, 'Most likely the plane's passengers, oil workers, decided to do a kind of selfie. It was a good joke and it became a big thing on the Internet. 

However, one of the 'hero' passengers... insisted the passengers did push the plane. 'We were on the bus that took us on the plane when we were asked to help the tractor (push the plane),' he said. 'Before that, we had already spent one day at the airport, waiting for our departure.

'We pushed it a short distance -- about five meters, maybe more. I worked for four years on shifts, but do not recall that we pushed the plane previously.'"

The plane, with the possible push from passengers, then managed to take off and land safely at its destination.

Next time, maybe they should just drive.

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