Lion Air passenger puts on life vest during flight, causes other passengers to panic

Lion Air passenger puts on life vest during flight, causes other passengers to panic
Lion Air.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A passenger, identified only as FAR, reportedly put on a life vest without being instructed to do so on a Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Padang and was apprehended by aviation officials after the plane landed safely at Minangkabau International Aiport on Saturday.

In a release issued by Lion Air, the airline stated FAR put on a life vest 30 minutes after the plane took off. He also helped his grandmother into a life vest.

Flight attendant Dessy Febriyanto said she asked him why he put on the vest, but FAR stood up and walked to the front of the gangway while telling other passengers to also put on their life vests. FAR asked the crew to return to Jakarta because he "could see and feel" danger.

Pilot Agus Ahadi said he listened to FAR's explanation and asked him to return to his seat. But FAR again walked to the front of the plane and insisted that the crew return to Jakarta.

The crew reportedly removed the vest from FAR and stowed the vest, but FAR removed and put it on again six times.

When the plane was about to land, FAR is said to have caused a commotion, making other passengers panic.

"The crew tried to reassure the passengers, informing them that what FAR said was not happening," said Eko Pujianto, the manager of Lion Air Group at Minangkabau International Airport, Padang, West Sumatra.

Upon landing at Minangkabau airport, Dessy informed the operational team and ground crew about the situation. The ground crew apprehended FAR and handed him over to the airport's authorities, the release said.

Eko said a disruptive passenger was subject to disciplinary action. Acting disruptively on a plane has legal consequences according to Article 53 in the 2009 law on aviation, Eko said in the release.

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