Last week, a passenger onboard a China Eastern Airlines plane deployed the emergency slide after the aircraft landed at Sanya Phoenix International Airport, off China’s southern coast.
The passenger’s excuse for his actions?
He wanted to “get off the plane quicker” the the Daily Mail reported.
The flight, MU2331 originating from Xi’an in northwestern China, had just landed at the resort city and taxied to a parking slot when a passenger opened the door just behind the right wing of the Airbus A321.
The incident caused the aircraft to be delayed for two hours.
According to Sohu, the economic damages, including the cost of replacing the slide, amounted to roughly $US16,000.
It is unclear if the passenger actually made it down the slide before being apprehended by the authorities — or if China Eastern plans to bill the passenger for his indiscretions.
Due to the design of aeroplane doors, it is impossible to open them with the aircraft is pressurised in flight.
However, when the plane is taxiing or parked, they can be opened.
Usually, when the plane is in service, the cabin crew will arm the slide and set them to deploy automatically when the door opens. When the plane pulls up to the gate, the cabin crew will then set the door to “manual” which would override the automatic deployment.
The passenger in this case obviously popped the hatch before the cabin crew had the chance to switch the door to manual mode.
It’s unknown at this point how the passenger will be punished. However, after recent spate of poor behaviour by Chinese airline passengers, the government has vowed to severely punish transgressors who tarnish the nation’s reputation.