Man Jumps Out of Moving Airplane : A Well Thought Out Scream by James Riordan
Have you ever been sitting in a plane about to take off and think, “Maybe I shouldn’t be taking this flight”? I’m sure lots of us have had doubts about our trip or even about the particular plane we were on just before taking off. Maybe you’ve even acted on such a thought and got off the plane. But once the plane starts moving, most everyone decides that such doubts will have to be set aside. It’s too late to change your mind now. Not Tun Lon Sein, who this past Thursday, May 25th, unbuckled his seat belt, fought off two passengers and tried to bite a flight attendant and managed to open the aircraft door and jumped out of the plane onto the tarmac below. The incident happened on American Airlines Flight 5242 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.
Airport workers seized Sein on the tarmac and he was then taken to a local hospital for treatment. On Friday morning, Sein, was to be in federal court, charged with assaulting/intimidating a flight crew member, a crime that carries up to 20 years in prison, but the hearing had to be postponed because the Thai interpreter could not speak Karen, a language of southern Myanmar. Authorities are unsure what prompted Sein’s commotion because he speaks little English.
According to Federal Air Marshalls who filed the criminal complaint Sein showed disregard for safety requirements. “Sein spoke little or no English during these events. However, circumstances surrounding his actions show that Sein understood the directions of the F/A, as well as the safety requirements of commercial air travel,” the complaint said.
Authorities believe Sein understood the safety requirements as he could see the illuminated seat belt signs and had already entered the United States at Newark, N.J., requiring two other flights before he reached the airport at Charlotte. Nothing seemed out of order when the flight backed away from its gate and was waiting for the OK to begin heading toward the runway for takeoff to New Bern. All the passengers were seated, and the seatbelt signs were on. Tun Lon Sein suddenly stood from his seat and attempted to open the aircraft’s main door before he was halted by a flight attendant, whom he then tried to bite, federal air marshals said in the criminal complaint. He then was able to pry open the plane’s galley door as it was taxiing and jumped onto the tarmac.
The other passengers were forced to endure a significant delay as the flight had to return to the gate to be rescreened before leaving for its destination
American Airlines in a statement said the plane returned to the gate after “a security incident with a passenger.” After a re-screening, the plane landed approximately 90 minutes late at its destination of New Bern, N.C., the airline said, according to the report.
In November of last year a woman on a United Airlines flight traveling from New Orleans to Houston Monday afternoon jumped out of the plane’s emergency exit after it had touched down at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The incident occurred while the plane was taxiing toward its gate. The unidentified woman — who was treated for non-life threatening injuries — was not charged by police, but had to undergo psych evaluations. The incident was a YouTube hit as passenger Hampton Friedman, who was seated across the aisle from the exit, took a short video of the aftermath of the jump. “A lady on this flight just opened the door and jumped out of the plane,” he says in the clip.
In case you don’t know by now, don’t screw around on an airplane. Don’t make bomb jokes, don’t refuse to move to another seat if they ask you to do so…and don’t jump out until they tell you to exit. That is all.