unbelievable flight attendant story: a man on the wing!

Ok, get ready! Today we are gonna talk about an unbelievable flight attendant story: a man on the wing! Get this!

Once, I had the pleasure of flying with a seasoned Purser. Let’s call her Sarah (which is not her real name, just to keep her anonymity intact). During the flight briefing before takeoff, Sarah, with a few years of experience in aviation, shared an unbelievable story with us senior crew members before the rest of the cabin crew joined the briefing room – a story I’m still wondering if it really happened or not. She said it was something that occurred during her time at a previous airline, on one of her flights.

Sarah’s story unfolded like this: One day, operating as Purser and guiding a team with a crew on her very first operational flight, she experienced an incident that she wanted to share to emphasize the importance of considering the crew at their first operational flight as a valuable resource of the team too. At this point, I was intrigued and eager to know more.

As our flight taxied for takeoff, the captain’s voice chimed in on the interphone, making the usual announcements. The crew was busy preparing the cabin for departure, and all seemed well as they secured everything for takeoff. But then, the unexpected happened. Sarah heard the interphone chime again, signaling a call from the captain to the “supy” crew (we call flight attendants on their first operational flight “supies”).

She immediately thought the captain was about to play a prank on the new crew member. However, the timing felt off, as the flight deck is typically bustling with activity during taxi and takeoff. As she contemplated this thought, a second call from the flight deck came in, and the captain’s voice was serious. He said, “Hey, Sarah, please go check what is happening in the back. The tower informed me that we have a man on the right wing. I already informed the crew seated in that area. Go check it out please!”

Guess who was the crew seated in that area? The supy cabin crew!

Sarah couldn’t believe her ears. While the captain’s voice sounded serious, she still had doubts about the authenticity of the call. Nevertheless, she unfastened her seatbelt and almost sprinted to the emergency exit on the right side, her heart racing with anticipation of the unexpected.

When she entered the cabin, she was met with a surreal sight – the “supy” cabin crew was yelling at a passenger crouched down on the wing, clutching his briefcase for dear life. She was desperately screaming at him to get back inside and drop his luggage.

For a moment, Sarah was in disbelief, as if witnessing a scene from a movie rather than a real-life flight. The rookie flight attendant finally noticed Sarah’s arrival and expressed relief and confusion, exclaiming, “Is this for real? What on earth is he doing out there?” To which Sarah replied, “Are you asking me?”

Despite the bizarre situation, Sarah knew they had to act swiftly to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. She promptly reported the incident to the captain through the interphone, saying, “Captain, we have a situation here! There’s indeed a man on the wing!” The captain replied, “Yes, I know, your crew already informed me.” As we come to find out, the “supy” crew, on her first operational flight, saw the passenger walking on the wing, grabbed the interphone, and screamed at the captain, “Stop the plane, there is someone walking on the right wing. Stop the f*****g airplane now!” Okay, now stop for a second! Imagine screaming something like that to the Captain on your first flight as a flight attendant… Savage!

As the captain promptly halted the aircraft, Sarah and the “supy” sprang into action and managed to coax the adventurous passenger back inside the cabin. To everyone’s surprise, the passenger seemed oddly calm, as if he didn’t fully comprehend the gravity of his actions.

When asked about his daring escapade, he explained matter-of-factly, “I saw the fire, and I thought it was an emergency. I went out to evacuate.”

So what was the fire this passenger is talking about? As it turned out, our aircraft had exhibited something called “torching.”

Just to let you know, torching in a simple explanation refers to the visible flames that can sometimes be seen coming out of an airplane’s engine during takeoff or landing. It occurs when excess fuel is present in the engine, and the engine’s temperature is very high. The excess fuel ignites, creating a brief and controlled burst of flames. Torchings are a normal and safe part of the engine’s operation, and modern aircraft engines are designed to handle these occurrences without any harm.

The rookie flight attendant couldn’t help but inwardly chuckle at the passenger’s rationale. Technically, he had followed the emergency procedures he had been briefed on, but his execution was far from ideal.

Once the passenger was safely back on board, they awaited the arrival of security to handle the situation.

The incident was as bizarre as it was memorable, and it left a lasting impression on the entire crew, especially the “supy” flight attendant, I suppose. Can you imagine something like that happening on your first operational flight? It’s crazy. I probably would have resigned after that flight.

Throughout the rest of the journey, Sarah told us that she couldn’t help but reflect on the unpredictability of people and the unexpected challenges that come with being a flight attendant. An unbelievable flight attendant story! Sarah praised the “supy” crew member for her quick actions and comforted her, saying, “Look, not every flight is like this one!” Even for Sarah, with years of experience, who had seen her fair share of turbulence and quirky passenger requests, what just happened was shocking and unforgettable.

As Sarah concluded the briefing, I remember her saying, “I will carry this incredible story with me for years to come. It was a reminder that no matter how seasoned a flight attendant might be, the aviation world always has the potential to surprise and amaze, making each day on the job full of “surprises”! So, let’s treat our “supy” flight attendants well today and be prepared for the unthinkable”. I remember that being one of the best briefings I’ve ever had. An unbelievable flight attendant story, a man on the wing, and the boss response of the Supy crew!

With this post, we also want to wish all the flight attendants good luck on their first operational flight. Good luck, guys! Don’t worry; you’ve got this! You will survive!”

Much love,

Flight Attendants Nation

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