According to Indian News Paper Times of India reports An Air India commander took the unusual step of stopping a taxiing aircraft at Heathrow to return a cellphone to an engineer who had left it behind after readying the aircraft for departure.What transpired on the London-Ahmedabad flight last month was a series of incredible decisions.
“The commander informed the ground staff to ask the engineer to reach the aircraft and collect the phone,” said a source.
He instructed the cabin crew-in-charge to ‘recycle the door’, open it and throw the phone, which could be safely embedded in a pillow, conscripted from the passenger cabin for the mission.‘Recycle the door’ means to change the mode it is set in.
Aircraft doors are either set in automatic mode (‘armed’ in aviation parlance) or manual (‘unarmed’).
Before departure, the commander gives an ‘arm the doors’ or ‘doors to automatic’ instruction to the crew.
When she opened the door, the slide inflated and fell into position, ready for an evacuation. But instead of panicky passengers, the only person standing at the door was the rather shocked crew-in-charge, holding a pillow stuffed with suddenly not-so-precious cargo.
The flight’s departure had to be delayed. “The engineering team had to disconnect the slide, deflate it, and fold and pack it into the cargo compartment,” the source said. AI-176, which had started taxiing at 2pm, finally departed at 3.46pm.