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Oops! The Silly Mistakes Thread


Gone But Not Forgotten
Feb 14, 2002
14 December 2005
EasyJet 'bomb' turned out to be soft toy
By Alistair Munro

ARMED police stormed a plane after a passenger claimed a cuddly Loch Ness Monster toy was a bomb.

A court heard yesterday that hoaxer Peter Aldred's actions cost airline easyJet £25,000 - because the plane was delayed for two-and-a-half hours at Inverness.

The 41-year-old sales and marketing manager, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, admitted breach of the peace and is awaiting sentence.

He was carrying a kilt shop's carrier bag when he boarded the flight from Inverness to Luton on Monday.

Fiona Murray, prosecuting, told Inverness Sheriff Court: "He placed the bag inside his jacket. A stewardess said it had to be placed in a locker and asked what was in the bag.

"He replied, 'A bomb'."

The bag was taken by the stewardess and placed in the overhead locker. But Aldred's remark was reported to the captain and armed police were called.

The bag was found to contain two Loch Ness Monster soft toys and some sweets.

Aldred told the court: "It was a very stupid situation which was blown out of proportion. I am very sorry Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen called for reports. He bailed Aldred, ordering him not to board any aircraft before sentencing next month.

Last night, Aldred said: "I had just been on holiday for the weekend.

"If they thought it was a bomb, then why was it put in the overhead locker?

"The stewardess was having a laugh about it. It is absolute madness. I've spent 24 hours in the cells.

"I got the bag back but the monsters have vanished

Link is dead and posted URL was truncated into a form that can't be used to search for an archived version.
Last edited by a moderator:
"...but the monsters have vanished."

Typical isn't it? :)
aparently the police took a photo of them but they came out fuzzy in it. :?
Do we already have a thread for silly mistakes that don't end in disaster?
Plane lands at airbase by mistake

A passenger jet which was destined for City of Derry Airport has landed at an Army base six miles away by mistake.
The Liverpool to Londonderry service, operated by Eirjet on behalf of Ryanair, landed at Ballykelly airstrip at 1440 BST.

Ryanair said in a statement it was due to an "error by the Eirjet pilot who mistakenly believed he was on a visual approach to City of Derry airport".

The 39 passengers were taken by coach from Ballykelly to the airport.

One of the passengers said everyone was completely surprised when they realised what had happened.


He said: "The pilot apologised and said, 'We may have arrived at the wrong airport'.

"Everyone started laughing and thought it was a joke, then I saw for myself when I looked out and saw Army officers everywhere.

The plane had been destined for City of Derry Airport
"It was just unbelievable, I think the Army officers were shocked themselves (as) they were taking photographs. It was surreal."

Another passenger said they had to wait on the plane while stairs were brought from the airport.

"Unfortunately they didn't let us go down the slide," he added. [ :D ]

In its statement, Ryanair said it had notified the civil aviation authorities in the UK and Ireland of the incident.

"We have also asked Eirjet, the operator of the aircraft to carry out a full investigation into this matter, as in over seven years of Ryanair flights into City of Derry airport, and over 20 years of Ryanair-operated flights, such a mistake has never occurred before," it added.

The aircraft is estimated to be a 200-seater jet. The scheduled return flight to Liverpool was cancelled.

The airstrip at Ballykelly is primarily used by Army helicopters and light aircraft. It was built for huge military planes, making it one of the longest on the island.

It is not yet clear how the plane will be removed from the Army base.

In a statement, Eirjet said it would carry out a full investigation.

"Eirjet wish to stress that passenger safety was not compromised and the incident involved the aircraft landing at a runway which is exactly in line with the main runway at City of Derry Airport," it said.

Probe into 'wrong runway' error

Probe into 'wrong runway' error

The government's air accident investigation branch is expected to ask for details of why a commercial airliner landed at a military airfield.
Investigators will focus on why the pilots failed to identify the correct airfield despite clear weather and warnings about the Ballykelly airstrip.

They outline the possibility of confusion in flight manuals over the airports, which are five miles apart.

Ballykelly and City of Derry runways are aligned in the same direction.

Eirjet, which was operating a flight from Liverpool on Wednesday on behalf of Ryanair, apologised but said the safety of the 39 passengers was not compromised.

Eirjet said the incident "involved the aircraft landing at a runway exactly in line" with the airport's runway.

Human beings are fallible - from simple things like putting teabags in a milk jug to the other end of the spectrum of landing at the wrong runway
Captain Mervyn Granshaw
British Air Line Pilots' Association

On Thursday, the manager of City of Derry Airport said it was too early to conclude what the reason was for the incident.

Seamus Devine said it may have been a case of the pilot relying on what he could see, rather than on his instruments.

"An error took place somewhere and an aircraft ended up at an airfield it shouldn't have gone into," said Mr Devine, who was a pilot for 20 years.

He added: "A pilot looks at the window, sees a runway, the human instinct - the visual cortex - takes over and you see a runway immediately below you, distrust your instruments, and go around and land on that runway."

'Plug those gaps'

Captain Mervyn Granshaw, chairman of the British Air Line Pilots' Association, said there were several reasons why such an incident could occur.

"Clearly, it is a very worrying issue," he said.

"Human beings are fallible - from simple things like putting teabags in a milk jug to the other end of the spectrum of landing at the wrong runway.

"We know this in aviation, but we try to put in place processes, checks, balances to make sure we plug all those gaps."

In over seven years of Ryanair flights into City of Derry airport, and over 20 years of Ryanair-operated flights, such a mistake has never occurred before

Ryanair said in a statement it was due to an "error by the Eirjet pilot who mistakenly believed he was on a visual approach to City of Derry airport".

The passengers were taken by coach from Ballykelly to the airport.

The airstrip at Ballykelly is primarily used by Army helicopters and light aircraft.

It was built for huge military planes, making it one of the longest on the island.

Eirjet said it would begin a full investigation, working in consultation with the Department of Transport, the Irish Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority.

The airline said it placed "paramount importance on passenger safety".

Ryanair said it would be carrying out its own investigation into the incident.

In a statement, the company said: "In over seven years of Ryanair flights into City of Derry airport, and over 20 years of Ryanair-operated flights, such a mistake has never occurred before."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/n ... 859716.stm

Published: 2006/03/30 06:41:37 GMT

We have to ask what Air Traffic Control were doing when this happened.
Didn't they notice the plane wasn't coming to the right place?

According to a video report (currently accessible via http://news.bbc.co.uk/ ) other pilots have sympathy with the crew, and have posted messages of support on a pilot's website.
Nice story. :)


Whats the point having gate guards and perimiter fences at military bases, if it is possible to turn up un-announced with a 200 seater aircraft and touch down?

Even if the ATC bods were on the ball, surely the tower at Derry must have noticed the plane on final approach was not in the air above the downwind end of the runway??
oops indeed! i didnt notice this was up and put it in mainstream.

if this had happened at a time of high alert then maybe the soldiers would have taken some action eg surrounded it with armoured cars.
ramonmercado said:
...soldiers would have taken some action eg surrounded it with armoured cars.

It is at times like these that I miss the military simulator I had on the old Amiga: Place a fully loaded transport on the runway, surround with a full compliment of defending soldiers and press GO.


Aaaah, BOOM
Two Newcastles, one £2.7m Whitehall mix-up
Last Updated: 1:49am GMT 14/02/2008

Bungling Whitehall officials got their Newcastles mixed up and gave £2.7 million meant for the North East city to its namesake in the Potteries.

Newcastle-under-Lyme, population 74,000, was handed the cash instead of Newcastle upon Tyne, the regional capital of the North East. And the Staffordshire market town is refusing to hand back its windfall from the Department for Communities and Local Government, saying it was accepted in good faith.

"We assumed it was in recognition of the work we've done to encourage business," said Simon Tagg, the borough council leader.

"We have no intention of giving the money back at this stage. We can't hand over £2 million just like that." 8)

Nearly 200 miles away, John Shipley, the Liberal Democrat leader of Newcastle upon Tyne City Council, said: "It was an astonishing error by a Whitehall department."

The cash came from a pot of money to be given back to councils that had increased the amount they took in business rates. In fact, the hand-out had been paid to the wrong Newcastle for two years. :shock:

Geordie council officers challenged the amount they had received from the Local Authority Business Growth Incentive a year ago but were told that no mistake had been made.

Mr Shipley said: "Local government is regularly accused by central government of ­inefficiency.

"Now we have a major Whitehall department that doesn't know the difference between Newcastle-under-Lyme and Newcastle upon Tyne."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... tle114.xml
Balloon lost in the sky with diamond
By Natalie Paris
Last Updated: 2:36am GMT 16/03/2008

It had seemed a romantic and highly original way to propose to the love of your life with a £6,000 diamond ring.

Lefkos Hajji, 28, wanted to make his engagement one his girlfriend would never forget, only to have his dreams cruelly snatched from his grasp by a gust of wind.

Rather than simply dropping to one knee before Leanne, 26, he told a florist to put her engagement ring in a silver helium balloon.

But no sooner had he left the shop when his plans backfired spectacularly and the balloons blew away - taking the ring with them.

Keeping his prize in sight, Mr Hajji, from Hackney, London, pursued the balloons for two hours in his car across London before giving them up as lost.

He told the Sun newspaper: "I couldn't believe it. I just watched as it went further and further into the air.

"I felt like such a plonker. It cost a fortune and I knew my girlfriend would kill me.

"I though I would give Leanne a pin so I could literally pop the question."

While Mr Hajji hopes the ring will still turn up, his girlfriend, as he suspected, was apparently less than impressed.

Florist Helen Savva, of Cockfosters, London, told the newspaper: "I thought he was taking a risk. I said, 'I hope you hold onto it'."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... oon114.xml
Soong2 said:
Whats the point having gate guards and perimiter fences at military bases, if it is possible to turn up un-announced with a 200 seater aircraft and touch down?

All runways are ready to accept unscheduled landings in emergencies. In this case it was lucky that the ground was clear enough for it.
Re: Oops!

rynner said:
Do we already have a thread for silly mistakes that don't end in disaster?
Plane lands at airbase by mistake

A passenger jet which was destined for City of Derry Airport has landed at an Army base six miles away by mistake.

The flight between Phoenix, Arizona and Tucson, Arizona takes 20 to 30 minutes, but on this eye-red with just the flight crew and myself aboard, I heard the engines reversing after about 15 minutes, so I looked out the window and saw several long lines of blue lights and that we were descending.

About the moment I thought, "ah crap not into the ag field!", the pilot must have noticed, instead of the tarmac, the several thousand nearly mature plants belonging to the UofArizona's experimental agricultural field: I could see them far too clearly, myself.

The engines reversed again, the plane pulled upward doing some amazing Gs, and we got to the Tucson airport 10 minutes later with no further problem.


Different flight, pilot did land in a military airbase, but on purpose. The small commercial plane I was on ran into a strong headwind and lost too much fuel to finish the flight.


Last story. When I was little, my father was stationed in Hawaii. When we flew out to join him, the headwind was so strong that the pilot took the plane down to just above the ocean's surface (no, not a jet, Hawaii Mars #2 (http://www.aerofiles.com/martin-jrm1.jpg and video at YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN5PY91sO7A).

As a toddler, I thought the view was great, but the adults were obviously worried. Nevertheless, we got to the island, and, in essence, rolled directly onto the runway.
Wild things invade dealer's home

A Newcastle wheeler-dealer thought he would be quids-in when he spotted 25 model animals for sale on the internet.
Joe Osbourne from Walker, clinched the deal but had no idea of the true size of the beasts until they arrived.

Now he has near life-sized zebras in his kitchen, a 9ft giraffe in his hallway and elephants in the bedroom. :shock:

The deal and importing fees from India are thought to have cost Mr Osbourne more than £1,000. But he is remaining tight-lipped about the final figure.

The 54-year-old said: "I am a bit mad and I like a challenge, but this a challenge that has even beaten me.

"It was just something I saw on the web to make a few quid, but I didn't think it through and I've ended up with a house full of animals which nobody wants.

"When you see a picture that says they are 2ft long by 2ft high it doesn't seem that big, but when it's 3ft wide it's a bit too much.

"I have spent quite a lot - lets say more than a pound and less than a million - but the real figure is my secret."

Mr Osbourne hopes the publicity will persuade potential buyers to come forward.


(Link to video on page)
Cathedral emptied by Easter fire

Norwich's Anglican cathedral had to be evacuated midway through an Easter service as candles set off fire alarms.
The 400-strong congregation lit candles at the Saturday evening service to symbolise Jesus's resurrection but as the flames grew fire alarms sounded.

Revd Jan McFarlane, of the Diocese of Norwich, said the congregation were ushered out and the fire service arrived somewhat bemused.

The cathedral was not damaged and the service was able to continue.

Revd McFarlane said: "New Christians were baptised and confirmed by the Bishop of Norwich and the cathedral was filled with light from the candles and incense, but sadly it was all a bit too much for the fire detection system and half-way through the Eucharistic prayer we were interrupted by the fire alarm and an automated voice telling us to evacuate the cathedral.

"Clearly fire detection systems can't cope with the Resurrection of Jesus!

"The congregation of around 400 were ushered out of the cathedral and the fire brigade arrived in minutes.

"They looked somewhat bemused to be greeted by the Bishop and the Dean in full vestments, but they were soon able to establish that there wasn't a fire, and the service resumed."

What? Are 'modern' candles more hot than the medieval ones that would've lit the church? Though, the modern church is wealthy enough to supply more candles.
Man leaves £180k violin on train

A £10,000 reward is being offered for the return of a valuable 17th Century violin which was left on a train.

Robert Napier, from Wiltshire, had just had the 1698 Venice-made Goffriller valued by a London dealer at £180,000.

He got off a Paddington to Taunton train at Bedwyn on 29 January with the family heirloom still on board.

"It was just one of those terrible moments when I realised, as the train was steaming off, that I had left it on the train," he said.

Moment relived

Despite raising the alarm soon after and a search being made of the train at Taunton station, the violin has not been found.

"I put it on the luggage rack above my seat and when I got to Bedwyn, got off the train and I simply left it. I had my briefcase and coat, how I normally travel," said Mr Napier.

"I've relived the moment. I think when I put it on the luggage rack I thought I couldn't possibly forget it, and I didn't want to appear different. I was trying to behave normally."

Mr Napier jointly owns the instrument with his two brothers and two sisters, who inherited it from their mother, Elizabeth Hunt, from Wellington, Somerset.

During WWII, she performed with it entertaining troops as a member of an ensemble called the Ebsworth Quartet.

Later, she took the violin on travels abroad to India, Africa and Germany.

The missing Goffriller, together with a bow stamped R Sartory, were in a rectangular case with a brown cover.

Insurance company Allianz has offered a reward of up to £10,000 for the return of the instrument.

Bond car plunges into Lake Garda

A stunt driver has crashed the car used by movie secret agent James Bond into Italy's Lake Garda during filming of 007's latest movie, Quantum of Solace.

The driver was delivering the iconic Aston Martin DBS to the film scene in heavy rain when he lost control around one of the lake's narrow curves.

The driver was quickly rescued and taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Italian TV showed the car, reportedly the only one available for use in the film, being winched out of the lake.

Filming for the movie - starring Daniel Craig as the latest Bond - has already taken the crew to England, Panama, Chile and Mexico.

The newest film in the long-running 007 franchise is to be released later this year.

Wasn't one also rucked a couple of years back by a stunt driver showing off on ice?
Asda charged Welsh drivers £2.50 extra
Last Updated: 11:43AM BST 02/05/2008

Supermarket giant Asda apologised yesterday for a parking place charging £5 for English-speakers - but £7.50 for the same spot for Welsh drivers.
An English sign at a new Asda in Wales offered shoppers free parking if they spent £5 in the store.

But the Welsh translation on the same sign said customers had to pay an extra £2.50 for the same parking space.

The blunder was spotted by eagle-eyed shoppers at the new Asda superstore in Bridgend, South Wales.

Welsh-speaker Mari Jenkins, 24, said: “It is just ridiculous - but I had to laugh.

“It’s hilarious. I was wondering if being a Welsh speaker meant you had to pay more?

“Perhaps if I pretended that I only spoke English then I could park for cheaper - then say “Hwyl Fawr” for goodbye when I leave.”

But English-speaking shopper Peter Andrews, 46, said: “I didn’t spot it at first but I had to laugh when it was pointed out to me.

“Perhaps it is Asda’s revenge on English people being charged £5.30 toll to come over the Severn Bridge into Wales.”

The English sign after getting an automated ticket reads: “Display one portion of your ticket in your car. Present the refund portion of your ticket at the checkout when spending over £5. Receive a refund for up to two hours parking.”

The Welsh translation is the same apart from reading £7.50.

Asda - whose catchphrase is “That’s Asda price” - described their bilingual blunder as “embarrassing”.

A spokesman said: “We’re embarrassed. It’s all a bit of a cock-up.

“We are left scratching our heads in both Welsh and English with this one. There is no reason why there should be a difference in charge.

“We have of course taken the sign down and will be replacing it with a correct version - which is £5 for all.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... extra.html
Oops! Gallery handlers break Renaissance painting
Maev Kennedy
Friday May 16, 2008
The Guardian

The National Gallery is urgently reviewing its handling procedures after a Renaissance painting broke in two while being moved from an exhibition.
Although the gallery never discusses the value of its paintings, works by the Sienese artist Domenico Beccafumi are highly prized: a Holy Family sold last year for more than £1.1m at Sotheby's, over four times the estimate.

Perhaps mercifully for the gallery, it was its own painting, Marcia, not one of the valuable loans for the exhibition Renaissance Siena, which was broken. It apparently dropped out of a temporary frame while being taken off the wall by the gallery's own picture handlers. The painting was made on a panel composed of three joined planks of timber, and broke along a joint. Paintings on panel are regarded as exceptionally fragile and vulnerable, and are frequently refused permission to travel by their owners.

The new director of the gallery, Nicholas Penny, who took over after the incident in January, told the Art Newspaper he viewed it as "extremely serious". A gallery spokeswoman said yesterday: "We are all terribly upset about it, and we are taking steps to ensure those conditions never occur again."
The painting is one of three surviving images of virtuous women from classical mythology believed to have been painted as decorative panels for a nobleman's bedroom in Siena around 1519. The National Gallery owns two of the paintings, but borrowed a third, Cornelia, from the Doria-Pamphili museum in Rome, to reunite them for the exhibition.

The painting has now been rehung in the basement galleries.

The exhibition drew some of the worst reviews in the gallery's recent history. Philip Hensher in the Mail on Sunday called it "an intermittently absorbing account of a place in the process of becoming a backwater".

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/news/sto ... 73,00.html
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - An immigrant family left a 23-month-old boy in the Vancouver airport and learned he was missing only when contacted during the next leg of the trip.

Jun Parreno, the boy's father, told The Vancouver Sun the mix-up occurred Monday as he, his wife and two grandparents of the child, J.M., were scrambling between their arrival in Canada and a connecting flight to Winnipeg on Air Canada.

Running late after having to unpack and repack all their luggage, "we had 10 minutes before boarding," said Parreno, who was emigrating with his family from the Philippines. "We were running for the gate."

He said he thought his son was with the three other adults, who were running to the gate ahead of him, and they thought the little boy was with him.

Instead, in a scenario similar to the movie "Home Alone," the toddler was wandering alone between a security checkpoint and the flight gates, said Angela Mah, an Air Canada representative.

"We were called by (security) who told us one of the security people had a toddler in tow," Mah said. "He doesn't speak English, so we found a Tagalog-speaking agent who has been looking after him."

There was no boarding pass for the youngster because he did not have a separately assigned seat, so there was no indication in the airline's computer system that someone had missed a flight, nor had there been any panicked calls from anyone on a flight missing a child, Mah said.

That's because the family was scattered in different parts of the plane to Winnipeg and still didn't know the child had been left.

Air Canada staff began checking flights that had left, and "we eventually determined who his parents might be ... and the flight crew talked to them," Mah said. "They didn't realize until then that the baby had been left behind.

"We're not aware of this ever happening on an Air Canada flight before."

The parents were put into telephone contact with the little boy, and Parreno was put on another Air Canada plane to return to Vancouver to get him after the family's flight arrived in Winnipeg with the airline covering the cost of the two additional flights, she said.

Parreno had tears in his eyes when he returned to Winnipeg holding his son.

"I am relieved everything is OK ... but I was shocked," he said. "The staff at Air Canada took good care of him."

Driver 'double-parks' in supermarket car park
By Sam Wilson and agencies
Last Updated: 12:57PM BST 03/06/2008

A driver caused panic in a busy supermarket car park on Monday when he lost control of his vehicle and ended up parked on top of another car.

Crowds of shoppers were left stunned when the man's automatic Honda Civic suddenly shot backwards and raced across a pedestrian walkway, smashing into a bench.

The impact of the crash threw the silver Honda up into the air and on top of another car parked in a disabled bay.

One person, believed to be the driver of the vehicle, was later taken to hospital suffering from minor injuries.

Student Nick Small, 19, who arrived at the Tesco store, in Salisbury, Wilts, minutes after the smash, said: "When I got there the police were already there.

"There was a crowd of people around the two cars and I think everyone was still in shock about what had happened.

"But it didn't take long before everyone saw the funny side and started to take pictures on their camera phones.

"It was an automatic car and people were saying that the driver had just shot backwards and the bench worked as a ramp to make his vehicle mount the other car.

"I couldn't believe what I was looking at. It's certainly not the sort of thing you see every day at the supermarket.

"I could see from the pedals that it was definitely an automatic car."

Claire Usher, spokeswoman for Wiltshire police, said: "At around 12pm yesterday, two vehicles, one of which was parked in a disabled bay, collided in the Tesco car park.

"As a result of the collision, one of the vehicles ended up on top of the other one.

"One person was taken to Salisbury General Hospital with minor injuries."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... -park.html