If a flight shifts by hours, that's annoying for the passengers. But when the passengers of flight AI743 learned on Sunday why their start in the East Indian metropolis of Calcutta was delayed, some may have smiled: A swarm of bees had landed shortly before the scheduled start on the window of the cockpit, the authorities said.
The ground crew then tried to scare away the bees to give the pilot a clear view. But the insects attacked and stabbed the ground personnel. Also, the attempt to remove the swarm with the windshield wipers, failed.
Finally, there was the use of water, several fire engines came on and eliminated the bees with a beam. After almost an hour of deployment, the cockpit screen of the Airbus A319 was finally free again, as airport director Kaushik Bhattcharya said.
136 passengers affected
The Air India flight to Agartala in northeastern India finally took off three and a half hours late. The curious incident affected 136 passengers, including the Minister of Information of Bangladesh.
Why the bees had chosen the aircraft, is not known. "There are no big trees nearby," says Bhattacharya. "We are now searching the hangars for beehives."
Air India Airbus A319 (VT-SCC) what forced to delay its departure from Kolkata (CCU, VECC) after a swarm of bees had settled outside the captain's window. Flight # AI743 to Agartala eventually took off 3h behind schedule.https: //t.co/gXqW9UcVCE pic.twitter.com/Dh3uFeHNO2- JACDEC (@JacdecNew) September 15, 2019
When a Queen Bee leaves an existing hive to start a new hive, she is accompanied by thousands of worker bees. Such a swarm is not easy to dissuade from its mission, as the incident in India showed.
It is not the first time bees have caused a delayed flight. In 2012, for example, insects landed on four planes of the Indian airline Jet Airways, as reported by "The Telegraph India".
And even a bee alone can cause a lot of trouble in travel. A few years ago, a flight from Antalya to Dusseldorf was considerably delayed because on a previous flight a bee flew into a technical device. A passenger complained - but in vain. Düsseldorf District Court decided at that time: If a defect occurs on a plane because a bee has invaded the technology, this is an extraordinary circumstance.
Extraordinary - this may also have been the cockpit-sticking swarm of bees for Air India's customers. And for the staff, who finally eliminated him.