Easyjet Pilot Heading Off On Holiday Ends Up Flying The Plane Himself
No, this isn't quite the plot of a movie where a normal guy finds the pilot slumped at the controls and is heroically guided home via the radio.
Luckily for everyone on board, Michael Bradley is actually a pilot.
Still, he didn't need to step in when his flight was delayed because of a missing pilot, but some friendly cajoling from his wife - who presumably really wanted to go on holiday - meant that he manned the controls for the flight instead.
One of the passengers filmed a speech that Bradley gave to the rest of the flight before taking the wheel.
The video, shared by mum Michelle Potts, showed the holiday hero saying: "My wife, who's on row 15 with my little boy - hopefully he's asleep by now, I should keep it down or else I'll get told off - she rolled over and punched me in the back of the head and said, 'Our flight's delayed by two hours because they are minus one captain for the flight.'
"So just before we went through security I thought, 'I wonder if this is worth a phone call...?' I think it is because I'd like to go on holiday.
"I phoned up easyJet and said, 'Hiya, I'm standing in the terminal doing nothing. I have got my licence with me' - deliberately from being punched in the back of the head at 3am - 'I have got my ID with me and I'd very much like to go on holiday and if you need a favour I'm standing here ready to go.'"
He continued: "They said, 'We'll phone you back'. Thirty-eight seconds later they phoned me back and said, 'Please, please pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the aeroplane to Alicante?'"
Noting that he was dressed in fairly casual attire, he added: "So if you're alright for one of your pilots to look like this today, we'll go to Alicante."
The passengers' cheers told him they were cool with it.
Michelle, who shared the video to Facebook, posted: "It could only happen to me!! Get to the airport and our flight is delayed a couple of hours... then I happen to look at the original time and it changed to gate closing!! Had to leg it across the airport to get on the flight...
"Get to boarding and asked the guy at the desk what's going on. He said, 'Oh your pilot's gone missing but a guy that's going on your flight is going to fly the plane,' REALLY CASUALLY!!!
"Luckily the guy was actually a pilot!! Probably would have been cancelled if it wasn't for him! Legend."
A spokesperson for easyJet said that the delay was 'due to the knock on effects of the French ATC failure on Sunday' which left them struggling for staff and relying on standbys.
Well, Michael wasn't a standby, but he was standing by and ready for action.
The spokesperson continued: "We are grateful to one of our pilots who was travelling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on 2 September with his family and volunteered to operate the flight.
"This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew.
"This is fully in line with regulations as he had his licence and ID with him. Safety is always our highest priority."
They also called the incident 'exceptional' and stressed that Michael was well rested, given that he'd had four days off before the flight, so he was legal to fly the plane.
Featured Image Credit: MEN Media