Strange Smells And Lasers Cause Emergency Landings

Two flights recently had to make emergency landings for unusual reasons. “Strong odors” caused a Lufthansa Stockholm-to-Frankfurt flight to stop in Copenhagen, where 129 passengers were rebooked onto alternate flights. The reason for the smell? A new carpet installed in the airplane.

Staff aboard a Sun Country Airlines flight from Minneapolis smelled smoke and made an emergency landing in Spokane. A passenger was carrying two homemade lasers (he is an unemployed chemist), causing several small burn holes near his seat. He was arrested for willful damage to an aircraft.

It’s been a busy season for emergency landings, mostly for precautionary reasons, but a few odd causes too. Most notably, a drunken passenger caused a cross-country flight to stop in Denver after he allegedly groped several passengers, drinking from his own bottle of vodka after he was refused service. A bird strike caused a Southwest flight to return to Raleigh and be taken out of service. Even rock stars have to deal with problems, as ’80s hair metal bands Ratt and Dokken had to trade their private jet for SUVs after smoke was detected. Better safe than sorry!

See more weird emergency landing stories from our archives, plus the story of a Gadling blogger who had her blog post used as evidence in a lawsuit filed by a “traumatized” passenger after a plane made an emergency landing at O’Hare.

Woman Imagines Terrorist Hijacking, Refuses To Stop Using Cell Phone In Flight

Erin Callahan Lambert got drunk and did some really, really stupid things on a flight from Boston to San Francisco last Sunday. Now she’s facing federal charges for making comments about a hijacking, trying to open a cabin door and fighting with flight attendants.

It all started to go awry when Lambert began talking on her cell phone halfway through the flight. When attendants asked her to stop, she became “combative.” Then, she claimed that she was “calling 911 because the plane is being hijacked.”

But it gets better (or worse, I suppose). After the first episode was diffused, Lambert later got up again, this time trying to take her luggage and her pet carrier into the bathroom. When flight attendants confronted her a second time, she said “…you are going to have to kill me and my dog.”

After a brief struggle, the nutcase was finally handcuffed, and, upon landing, turned over to San Francisco airport police. Thank goodness no one was hurt!