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Drunk Springbok F/A Terrorizes Flight

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Drunk Springbok F/A Terrorizes Flight

Old 27th Feb 2002, 22:40
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Arrow Drunk Springbok F/A Terrorizes Flight

Off-duty SAA steward goes berserk on plane

February 26 2002 at 08:30PM. .

By Sheena Adams

The crew drew down the shutters, darkening the plane's cabin, and he saw his chance.

Swiftly and silently, a passenger stole down the aisle to the galley at the back of the plane and helped himself to miniature bottles of gin, brandy and vodka, and got horribly drunk.

Belligerent and rude, he tore down the aisles, swearing and taking swipes at passengers travelling on the South African Airways flight between Bangkok and Johannesburg, biting some on their arms and hands.

After terrifying passengers for more than 30 minutes and forcing himself on a Chinese woman and kissing her, the man, Dumisani Shabangu, 25, was identified as an off-duty SAA air steward by the astounded crew.

Five strapping men, including a policeman, the first officer and the pilot, were needed to restrain him.

One angry passenger said afterwards: "We handcuffed his hands behind his back but he was going berserk, lashing out with his legs.

"We put him face down in the galley, but a few minutes later he was up again, running down the aisle like a madman, using foul language."

The passenger, who did not want to be identified, said the crew brought another pair of handcuffs which were used on Shabangu's ankles.

"We used seatbelts and tied him up like a mummy. He even managed to break one of the toilet doors."

The passenger said Shabangu had also caused alarm when he lunged at one of the aircraft's doors and tried to open it.

"I am a pilot so I knew that it wouldn't open at 32 000 feet, but he caused lots of concern among the other passengers.

"He was a bad, aggressive drunk, but not so drunk that he was useless.

"I just wanted to reach out and smash his lips against his teeth," said the passenger, who was travelling with his wife and two children.

Shabangu was arrested after the plane touched down at Johannesburg International Airport on Sunday evening and he has been suspended from his job pending an investigation.

SAA spokesperson Rich Mkhondo said Shabangu, who joined SAA in 1999, had contravened the Civil Aviation Act by threatening the safety of SAA passengers.

"He has also contravened his own employment regulations, so he will face disciplinary action. He seemed to know where the liquor was because he was one of us," Mkhondo added.

"It's very serious. Passengers were panicked and crying - it must have been terrible."

The passenger said Shabangu had tried to introduce himself and make friends.

"He was spitting all over the place, telling me he was from Soweto and asking me where I lived.

"I was getting really hacked off at this stage, and when he left and I heard a commotion at the other end of the plane, I went over and found that a couple of blokes had him on the floor.

"That's when one of the crew brought the handcuffs."

The passenger said Shabangu received "quite a hammering because a couple of guys climbed into him", and that it was a scary ordeal.

He praised SAA for their quick response.

"The crew were fantastic and they did everything in their power to bring the situation under control, because negotiation was certainly out of the question, but the means at their disposal were inadequate.

"If you've got an Arnold Schwarzenegger on the plane and your first officer, who is responsible for security, is a 1,6-metre, 50kg man, he isn't going to be able to handle a berserk madman running from one end of the plane to another for 30 minutes."

Mkhondo said SAA was looking into rationing the provision of alcohol on flights but that a total ban on alcohol was unlikely.

Police Superintendent Eugene Opperman said Shabangu appeared in the Kempton Park magistrate's court on Monday and was remanded.

"If found guilty, he could very well be sent to jail for a long period," Opperman said.

<a href="http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=181&art_id=ct20020226203040483S320830&set _id=1" target="_blank">http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=181&art_id=ct20020226203040483S320830&set _id=1</a>
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Old 27th Feb 2002, 22:58
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Angry

"Shabangu was arrested after the plane touched down at Johannesburg International Airport on Sunday evening and he has been suspended from his job pending an investigation."

Does this mean that Dumisani Shabangu will be up for promotion in the near future?
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Old 27th Feb 2002, 23:01
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quote ..... ."Five strapping men, including a policeman, the first officer and the pilot, were needed to restrain him"

ermmmmm....... is this the way to handle such a situation?

edit ...... FO and Pilot intervention ????

[ 27 February 2002: Message edited by: hobie ]</p>
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Old 27th Feb 2002, 23:20
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Hobie -- Don't understand your comment. What would you suggest -- give him what is known locally as the Groot Crocodil finger and say "Pretty Please! Return to your seat!" Seems to me he was luckier than a guy in the US who only made it off the plane into the morgue after a somewhat similar incident. . .I can well believe that it could take "five strapping men" to restrain a fighting drunk.

El Peligroso - Yes, Well, No, Fine -- strange things do happen in the New South Africa. Maybe a career change is indicated, say to the South African Cricket Team?
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Old 27th Feb 2002, 23:55
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Is it standard procedure at SAA for the pilots to leave the flightdeck to deal with drunk, violent and irate pax????
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 00:01
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Hmmm.......... Yes that seemed strange to me too!
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 00:12
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Just out of curiosity, where were the rest of the cabin crew when the "gentle"man concerned was looting the drinks trolley?. .Nevertheless, well done to them for putting the guy down when they did spot him. <img src="mad.gif" border="0">

Ndeke Pilot, your opening remark was completely out of order and has been removed. Any more like that and you'll be banned. Yellow card.

Sick Squid. .Rumours and News Moderator


[ 27 February 2002: Message edited by: Sick Squid ]</p>
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 00:19
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<ol type="A">[*]This is a newspaper article, not an eyewitness account from a fellow ppruner. Who knows what is fact and what is poetic license?[*]The blinds being closed suggests to me a night flight, consequently something long. Likely to have extra's pilots aboard. The bloke that helped subdue the berserk FA might well have been the second officer on his break.[*]While it seems indicated, especially in the current climate, that pilots do not get involved in skirmishes, I am convinced that both the passengers and the FA's on this flight were very grateful for his assistance.. .[/list=a]

Pretty easy to criticise this bloke from the safety and comfort of a computer chair. . .In the end he helped put an end to a terryfying situation, possibly saving both the aircraft and it's occupants from worse things happening.

For now, he's one of the good guys in my book.
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 00:27
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Ooh err flaps, descended from Sherlock Holmes? <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

A very valid point on "poetic licence", and we should have more analysations (is there such a word? <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> If not, replace with "anylitical viewing") of such newspaper reports. Could stop some of the flaming due to misunderstood facts...

[ 27 February 2002: Message edited by: Nose Indiana Groond ]</p>
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 00:47
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hobie,

IT is very likely that these were not the on-duty pilots. It is the policy at my company, and at other companies I am familiar with, that the pilots on-duty do not leave the cockpit. On every long range flight we carry more than one crew. These other pilots were probably on their rest break. They could also have been deadheading pilots, although if they were in uniform that is doubtful.
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 00:56
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T'aint Natural,. .I'm talking about the rest of the crew, mate. Don't know what skin colour the offender enjoys, it wasn't mentioned.. .Sorry to have offended your sensibilities I'm sure. <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 01:17
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....erm, since when were First Officers "responsible for security" ? <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 01:46
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Feline ...... dont get me wrong! ..... as far as I'm concerned anyone in the back has my full support and encouragement in terminating the guy ...... I suspect that Aerosmith,GE90,None,Orangewing etc can see where I'm coming from ...... i.e. the last guys to get involved would surely be the "flying crew ..... if it was non-flying officers that were involved and mentioned in the report then I have no problem ......
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 10:06
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Does "springbok" mean antelope in Afrikaans, or just somebody who jumps around?

Does SAA's fleet consist only of 747-200s, which all require three cockpit crewmembers?

Maybe the berserk attacker was already on some other medication before he drank the alcohol?

Alcohol's effects at altitude have created so many dangerous situations, for many years, not to mention the hazards of (prohibited or not) smoking. Do any nations forbid the consumption of alcohol on commercial planes?

[ 28 February 2002: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]</p>
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 10:24
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&gt;&gt;Do any nations forbid the consumption of alcohol on commercial planes?&lt;&lt;

Some Muslim countries e.g. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait...
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 11:54
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As a matter of fact, Saudi Arabia will not even let anyone who buys their aircraft, that's right, the next owner, to serve booze on those aircraft - ever!. .No wonder the older aircraft they are trying to sell, years ago, are still parked at Jeddah.. .Cheers!

Just thought it nice to know, this theme, etc.
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Old 28th Feb 2002, 12:09
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FD, . .That's an inane, misinformed post if I ever I saw one! ....
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