Photo: master1305 [Getty Images]
I’ve been racking my brain for hours, trying to think of a more terrifying scenario than falling out of the sky and I actually think I’ve found something. Falling out of the sky, while choking to death on smoke that smells like a car’s air freshener.
Sounds horrible, right? Yet, it nearly happened, all because of a moronic Air China pilot who simply couldn’t control his urge to vape.
Over the weekend, a senior official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) revealed that a vaping co-pilot meant to turn off the air-recycling system (so passengers on the flight wouldn’t be exposed to the immense vape plumes) but instead activated the plane’s air conditioning system.
This set off an alarm, causing oxygen masks to rain from ceiling, as the cabin pressure dropped to unsafe levels. But just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, the depressurized cabin forced the plane to plunge out of the sky, descending from over 32,000 feet to 13,000 in a matter of minutes.
Thankfully, the flight crew did eventually figure out what happened before anything catastrophic took place and were able to somewhat normalize cabin pressure, allowing the Hong Kong based flight to return to cruising altitude levels.
The Boeing 737 jetliner was carrying 153 passengers and nine crew members on the three-hour journey and landed safely in Dalian.
As for the vaping pilot, the airline was quick to take action, firing the aviator in addition to suspending his crew after verifying the near tragic incident.