It can be frustrating enough for passengers stranded on a flight that’s sitting on the tarmac at an airport, but even pilots lose their patience when no one will tell them what in the heck is going on. An American Airlines pilot lost his cool with the control tower at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport yesterday after terror threats delayed his airplane and another and communication basically broke down.
“Yeah, well, they need to get off the phone and give me some information now,” the pilot told the control tower, reports ABC News. “OK. I’m the captain of this airliner and I need information pronto.”
The control tower told the arriving plane it would have to wait where it was before deboarding passengers, but wasn’t explaining why. That was not good enough for the pilot.
“OK. We’re surrounded by emergency vehicles, there’s a reason for this,” the pilot is heard saying in the audio recording of the exchange. “Somebody’s got to give us the reason or we’re going to evacuate the aircraft. You got 60 seconds.”
“We have the information, can you possibly call [number blocked out]?” the control tower asked.
“Negative, I demand the information right now over a frequency,” the pilot said.
Finally at that point, authorities told him what was known about the situation. That flight and another were isolated and inspected because someone had called in a threat that could have either been a bomb threat or something to do with terrorists hiding in the planes.
Both flights were searched by officials, and eventually sent on their way when nothing was found.
Passengers said the pilot also filled them in on the situation, but that flight attendants remained calm during the two-hour delay.