Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pilot restrained after 'talking to God' on flight to Heathrow

"Hello ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I just want you to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. I have the Lord in my right pocket, a Unicorn in my left and soon a gnome will be getting you your drinks. I'm a Leprechaun! I'm a Leprechaun!"

The co-pilot of a Heathrow-bound passenger flight had to be dragged from the cockpit and handcuffed after suffering an apparent mental breakdown in mid-air, it emerged yesterday.

And that's when I panic. Yup, panic away I think.

Passengers on the Air Canada flight from Toronto to London said the co-pilot was restrained after yelling and "invoking God" while at the controls of the Boeing 767 plane more than 30,000 feet above the Atlantic.

I think if I heard the pilot yelling for God in the cockpit of the plane I would start crying. Yes, and doing very unpleasant things in my pants.

The flight was forced to make an emergency diversion to Ireland's Shannon airport early on Monday and the unnamed crew member was taken to a nearby psychiatric unit.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we will be making a quick stop in Ireland. We need to drop the co-pilot off at the looney bin cause he's going ape-shit in here."

Sean Finucane, one of 146 passengers on board, said the co-pilot was carried into the cabin with his hands and ankles cuffed after he was restrained by cabin crew and a passenger, reported to be an off-duty Canadian soldier.

"Umm, excuse me stewardess? Is everything...alright?"

The crew member was then handcuffed to a seat as his captain requested permission to land from Irish air traffic authorities. "He was very, very distraught. He was yelling loudly," Finucane told Canadian broadcaster CBC. "His voice was clear, he didn't sound like he was drunk or anything, but he was swearing and asking for God. He specifically said he wants to talk to God."

God couldn't be reached for comment.


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