‘Soccer Ball-Sized’ Swarm Of Bees Disrupts Flight


Andy Hay via Flickr

Travelers have grown used to numerous airline interruptions, but Wednesday’s delay of a US Airways flight from Charlotte may have been a first.

A “soccer ball-sized” swarm of bees descended upon workers towing Flight 2690 from the gate, causing them to hastily retreat. Passengers on the Indianapolis-bound plane had no idea what was happening until the pilot announced over the intercom that the jet was under attack from the winged insects. No bees managed to make it into the aircraft.

Help arrived a short time later in the form of beekeeper Jimmy Odom, who drove the bees and their queen away from the runway. Odom said the bees were docile and merely looking for a new place to hang their hive.

The 1:15 p.m. flight, which had already been delayed 30 minutes for an unrelated mechanical issue, finally took off around 4 p.m. It’s not known if any passengers were stung by missed connecting flights.

Flight 2690’s misfortune was just one of the mishaps happening at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport that day. A plane flying to Rome from the airport was rerouted to Philadelphia after mechanical issues popped up above the Atlantic Ocean. And earlier in the day, a moving walkway caught fire in one of the concourses, forcing an evacuation of the smoke-filled terminal.