Apr 19, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


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11Indonesian Official Gets Airport Shut Down as Revenge for Not Being Allowed on Full Flight

An Indonesian district chief was not happy after he was told there wasn’t enough room for him to board a full flight. Instead of letting it go, he decided to shut down an entire airport in a grand act of revenge.

Marianus Sae was trying to return back to his Ngada district from the city of Kupang so that he could attend an important meeting. The airline he attempted to fly on, Merpati Nusantara, would not sell him a ticket, despite multiple tries on Sae’s part, because the flights had no seats left.

"It is outrageous," said Sae. "I begged for a ticket for five hours to fly to Ngada and their answer was, 'The flight is full.'"

Frustrated and upset, Sae decided that he had no choice but to shut down the airport entirely. He ordered officers to drive their cars onto the runway and stop the plane he wanted to be on from landing. This resulted in the airport being shut down for hours.

Now, local police are trying to figure out the right people to charge.

"Fifteen [officers] have been named suspects for violating the law and trespassing on the runway," said the East Nusa Tenggara Police chief. "Our law specifies that questioning of district heads requires permission, a recommendation from the governor. They are investigating others first — those whose questioning doesn't require a letter. They need time. They're working in stages."

Reports claim that blocking an airport faces a punishment of up to three years in prison and around $82,000 in fines.

Bambang Ervan, Transportation Ministry spokesperson, said that district head Sae had, "tarnished the reputation of the aviation industry."

The investigation is ongoing and it is not yet known if Sae will be charged with anything. 

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11Petition Urging Pet Owners Not to Fly With Their Animals and Calling For Airline Policy Change

As more people are traveling for the holidays, pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the real threat their animals face when flying.

Michael Jarboe of Miami knows this threat all too well. He actually paid extra money for his beloved dog BamBam to be taken care of by special pet handlers on a United Airlines flight while traveling across the country. Once Jarboe landed in San Francisco, however, he was horrified to discover that BamBam was dead.

That 2012 incident is not an isolated case. Opposing Views reported just last week about Janet Sinclair, the woman who was traveling across the country with her dog and cat and actually witnessed, from the plane, her pets being left out on the tarmac in the blistering Texas heat before takeoff from a layover in Houston. Upon arrival in Boston, Sinclair rushed her dog to the vet where he was put in the intensive care unit for days and almost died of his injuries. Sinclair was also flying with United.

Now, Jarboe and Sinclair's stories have inspired people to take action. A Change.org petition is being circulated on the Internet to ask United Airlines and the airline industry as a whole to change their policies regarding pet travel.

The petition clearly states what change frustrated and terrified pet owners want to occur:

THE CHANGE WE WANT: Fully disclose the number of total animal deaths that occur to the Department of Transportation, not just pets. The airlines to be held liable for wrongful deaths of our pets as living creatures and not as “baggage." An independent third party, not the airline, be in charge of the autopsy and the investigation into cause of a pets death.

After incidents like the ones that both Jarboe and Sinclair had to deal with, people are being warned that flying with a pet should be avoided at all costs.

“Air travel can be so quick that you may think a plane is the best way to transport your pet,” says the Humane Society of the United States on its website. “Think again. Air travel isn’t safe for pets. The HSUS recommends that you do not transport your pet by air unless absolutely necessary.”

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11Woman Claims Her Beloved Dog Almost Died Due To Abuse and Neglect on United Airlines Flight

A woman moving from San Diego to Boston decided to fly with United Airlines because she thought she could trust their “PetSafe” program with caring for her dog and cat during the flight. She was horrified during a layover in Texas, however, after witnessing her animals being abused and neglected.

Janet Sinclair says that United’s pet care program appealed to her because it promised that all pets would receive personal care in climate-controlled vehicles and would never be exposed to temperatures above 85 degrees for more than 45 minutes. Sinclair claims she even paid extra for her pets to get a stop in Houston, Texas to ensure their safety on the long journey from San Diego to Boston in July.

"They assured me that my animals would get a safety stop – a comfort stop – in Houston that I paid extra for," claims Sinclair.

While sitting on the plane in Houston, she immediately noticed her pets sitting outside on the tarmac in 94-degree weather. When another passenger suggested she take video of it while they were waiting on the plane for over an hour, Sinclair was shocked with what she saw. Her beloved dog Sedona and cat Alika sat in their crates on the tarmac in the heat, and their crates were even kicked repeatedly by a baggage handler.

“My dog and cat were never allowed out of their crates and were never given water in 12.5 hours," said Sinclair on her newly created Facebook support page. "Left on the tarmac to bake in Houston heat, Sedona suffered heatstroke and nearly died."

As Sinclair mentioned, Sedona suffered tremendously on the trip and wound up having to spend days in the intensive care unit after arriving in Boston.

"Sedona’s entire crate was filled with blood, feces, urine," said Sinclair. "Sedona was in full heat stroke. All of the blankets were filled with blood. She was urinating and defecating blood. She was dying, literally, right in front of me."

Thankfully, the two pets survived the trip, but the ordeal is not over. Sinclair tried to file a claim with the airline to get them to pay the nearly $3,000 in medical bills stemming from the incident, and United agreed, but only if Sinclair agreed not to go public with her story. Sinclair refused, and now she is trying to get the word out about her experience.

"I still want to be reimbursed," said Sinclair. "But I’m not going to be quiet."

United Airlines says they are sorry that Sedona “did not have a good experience” while also claiming that the dog had a preexisting condition. Sinclair, however, says that is not true, maintaining that both her pets received a clean bill of health and approval to fly from a vet.

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11Overweight Man Forced to Buy Two Plane Tickets To Accommodate Size and Discovers Seats are in Different Rows

It’s pretty normal for an overweight person to have to buy more than one seat on a flight because they can’t fit in just one, but for a 500-pound man flying round trip from Wales to Ireland, the two seats didn’t do him any good.

Les Price, 43, says he was flying to Ireland from Wales when he realized the two seats he purchased were not next to each other. One of the seats was next to the window, and the other was on the aisle. Another passenger occupied the seat in between, so Price had to switch. On the flight back to Wales, Price found out that the seats weren’t even in the same row. One was in row 17, and the other was in row 19.

“When I got to the airport I had to explain to all the staff why I had two tickets, they didn’t have a clue,” said Price. “When I finally got on the plane one was an aisle seat and the other was by the window – in a three-seat row. On the way back from Ireland one seat was in row 17 and the other in row 19.”

Price says that his weight started to get out of control after he injured himself and was forced to be bedridden for three months. Then, after his wife died of cancer in 2009, the situation became much worse.

Now, the man is set to star in BBC’s Live Longer Wales, a television program that chronicles the weight loss journeys of overweight people in Wales, and provides a commentary on the increasing weight problem in the country.

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11Flight #666 Heads to HEL on Friday the 13th

Flyers don’t seem to be bothered by flight 666 from Copenhagan to HEL (Helsinki) as they board on Friday the 13th, considering it’s almost full.

"It has been quite a joke among the pilots" Finnair pilot Juha-Pekka Keidasto said. “I'm not a superstitious man. It's only a coincidence for me."

Some airlines, like Scandanavian Airlines, take superstitious fears to heart and don’t have a 13th row on board.

Airlines like Finnair and other northern European lines have kept row 13.

According to professor Ulo Walk of comparative folklore at the University of Tartu, the fear of number 13 is a fairly recent belief in the north.

"There are 12 hours, 12 months and in Christianity 12 apostles and this is a divine number,” Walk said. “Add one more and it brings in a certain element of chaos.

The passengers of flight 666 are expected to have an easy flight over the Baltic at this time of year with smooth skies.

Anyone with concerns can request help from the cabin crew, according to Keidasto.

Sources: Fox News, WhioTV

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11American Airlines Pilot Declares Emergency After Plane Struck by Lightning Twice

A flight from Detroit made a safe landing at New York's LaGuardia Airport this morning after it was struck two times by lightning.

The American Eagle Flight 4563 was hit as it approached the airport during a large thunderstorm.

American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the captain declared an emergency as a precaution but it landed safely.

A maintenance team inspected the Embraer 135 aircraft. It was carrying 20 passengers and three crew members.

Airplanes usually travel above bad weather, but they get struck by lightning at least once a year.

"It is routine for an aircraft to land as soon as possible after a strike, but this is a precautionary measure," Professor Manu Haddad of Cardiff University's Morgan Botti Laboratory said. "Lightning is extremely hot, up to 30,000 degrees celsius. The typical damage is a scorch mark where the point of contact was, usually a wing-tip. The plane's electronics are well shielded these days."

The thunderstorm comes as many rainstorms hover around the Tristate area today. The rain has been so heavy at times that certain roads have become blocked.

In the morning, a Flash Flood Warning was in effect for New York City, Staten Island and Brooklyn as more than two inches of rain fell. 

Drivers were told to take precautions and not enter water on the roadway.

Sources: Daily Mail, Fox News

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11Terrafugia Unveils Hybrid Flying Car TF-X

Terrafugia, a Massachusetts aerospace firm run by MIT engineers, has unveiled a new design for a hybrid electric flying car, the TF-X.

"We are passionate about continuing to lead the creation of a flying car industry,"Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia's chief executive and chief technology officer, said, "and are dedicating resources to lay the foundations for our vision of personal transportation."

A pilot’s license will still be required to drive the TF-X, though Terrafugia insists a training session would only take five hours, and that much of the flying would be done by machine. Ideally, drivers wouldn’t have to do more than enter a destination.

After a destination is entered, the car would calculate the flight distance, up to 500 miles, and determine the fuel range. Various elements like weather conditions, restricted airspace, and suitable landing locations would be considered by the computer before takeoff.

The TF-X would drive on the ground like a car, then take to the air like a plane. Drivers could land the car in an airport or empty parking lot, and the wings would fold in.

In an emergency, the TF-X would transmit an emergency signal and locate the safest landing zone.

The current prototype, Transition, has 50 hours of fly time and a hefty price tag of $279,000.

While the Transition may be entering markets as early as 2015, the TF-X still has another eight to ten years before its public debut.

Sources: NY Daily News, Fox News

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11Orthodox Jew Covers Himself With Plastic Bag On Plane

A startling picture of an Orthodox Jewish man on a plane, posted on Reddit by user "FinalSay" on Thursday, has sparked debate. In the picture, the man appears to have covered himself in a plastic bag, causing some to theorize that he donned the see-through attire in order to remain pure when the flight cruised over cemeteries.

It was first thought that he was wearing the plastic outfit in order to distance himself from women because Ultra-Orthodox Jews commonly stick to strict gender segregation rules while in public.

Now it is believed that the man is a descendant of the priests of ancient Israel, also known as a Cohen. The ancient priests are banned from flying over cemeteries, so the plastic would theoretically serve as a barrier between the man and the commuters he could potentially be passing above, The New York Daily News reported.

The caption with the photo read, "An Orthodox Jew in an airplane with women - so he covers himself with a plastic bag..."

Respondent “thenewyorkgod” wrote back: “This has nothing to do with women. He is a ‘cohen,’ descendant from the high holy priests of the temple and they are not allowed to walk into or fly over a cemetery, which would render them impure. See this article for a similar story about a plastic wrapped man doing it for this reason.”

The article that “thenewyorkgod” referenced contains this passage: "In 2002, a flight crew had to prevent an ultra-Orthodox passenger, flying from Israel to Britain, from wrapping himself in plastic bags. The pilot was forced to return to Ben Gurion International airport in order to remove the passenger from the plane. The passenger, a Cohen, wrapped himself in plastic bags for fear that the plane's route would pass through the air above the Holon cemetery and he would consequently become impure."

Sources: The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post

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