While the panic caused by snakes on plane was forever memorialized by the namesake movie, other types of critters periodically get both outside and inside of aircraft and sow chaos among the passengers.
A flight between two Mexican cities last October was delayed by several hours after a cloud of mosquitoes flew inside and started buzzing around the plane while a woman flying a budget airline from Bangkok to Taiwan was detained after sneaking in two otters, a marmoset, and 28 tortoises (that then came loose and started moving through the cabin.)
The latest incident had to do with bees and took place on a flight by Brazilian regional carrier Voepass Linhas Aéreas.
‘They began buzzing around the entire aircraft’
As passengers who were aboard the flight later described to local media outlets, they initially heard a buzzing and saw a swarm of bees cover an entire wing outside the plane. The one-hour flight had just landed at Greater Natal International Airport in the northeast of the country from Fernando de Noronha Airport off the Brazilian coast.
As the passengers and crew waited on the tarmac for the situation to be resolved, the bees started hitting the windows and flying over the plane.
“They began buzzing around the entire aircraft,” described passenger Everton César. “We were taken by surprise.”
The travelers were ordered into their seats while the pilot called in the local fire department to help with the situation. Footage captured from the incident shows some passengers talking animatedly inside the plane as they watch what is going on outside.
‘There were many and they wouldn’t leave the aircraft…’
“It took them some time to arrive, assess the situation, and figure out what to do,” César said further. “Then, some of the bees settled on one of the plane’s wings while the rest continued flying above the aircraft. There were many and they wouldn’t leave the aircraft.”
Firefighters eventually arrived and sprayed a substance that caused the bees to disperse while those aboard were able to disembark approximately 90 minutes after the plane had landed, at around 2 p.m. local time.
But dramatic footage of the bees swarming outside the plane was quick to spend on various social media sites as those who are particularly squeamish about bees and other insects saw their worst fears visualized.
While flights that depart from tropical destinations have to deal with the insect problem more often, these types of infestations regularly occur in different parts of the world. Last summer, a leaked American Airlines (AAL) – Get Free Report memo revealed how the airline instructs crew members to deal with any cockroaches found on widebody jets like B777 and B787.
Crew who spot a cockroach aboard a flight can either “perform an initial treatment of the aircraft” or “contact Management Of Change (the industry’s term for the team in charge of health and cleanliness) to issue the applicable deferral at the next available opportunity.”
“After the removal of the bees, all passengers disembarked safely, the aircraft underwent maintenance, and then it was cleared for the next flight,” a Voepass spokesperson told the New York Post.