'The Captain Has Disappeared'
HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - After a Chatauqua Airlines pilot was accidentally locked in his plane's lavatory, a terror scare ensued when a passenger with an accent tried to help him by banging on the cockpit door, reports the New York Post.
The Chatauqua flight (which flies regionally under the Delta name) from Asheville, N.C. was headed to New York's LaGuardia airport Wednesday night, when the pilot headed to use the loo. While he was in there, a door latch broke leaving him stuck. His pounding and pleas were heard by a front-row passenger, whom the pilot instructed to alert the crew in the cockpit.
However, according to the Post, the co-pilot thought the man's accent sounded Middle Eastern, and he wasn't trusting his intentions.
"The captain has disappeared in the back and I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit," the co-pilot radioed. "The captain disappeared in the back...went to use the restroom. What I'm being told is he's stuck in the lav and someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit and I'm not about to let him in."
Air traffic control seemed to agree with that move, and advised the pilot to "declare emergency and just get on the ground."
Luckily, the captain was able to make his way out of the lavatory and back into the cockpit.
"The captain, myself, went back to the lavatory and the door latch broke and I had to fight my way out of it with my body to get the door open," he told ATC.
When the plane landed around 6:30 p.m., it was met by the FBI and Port Authority authorities. A spokesman for Chatauqua told the Post that officers spoke with the passenger and realized the misunderstanding.
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