It’s always the little stuff that gets you. Many years ago Virgin Atlantic took the major step of putting on-board medical datalinks on its long-haul fleet after an A340 had to divert to, I think, Gander when a passenger seemed to have heart trouble. Turned out to be angina. On the ground the aircraft got dinged by a truck or something (apologies, I’m struggling to remember the story), was stranded and it all cost a reputed £5 million.
I was reminded of that by the events of last night which saw a Virgin A340-600 unexpectedly turn up in Wilmington, NC.
The local StarNewsOnline has the story. Nothing medical this time, but the equally irritating case of the overheating lavatory pump.
The flight left Miami for Heathrow, managed less than 2hr in the air having reached FL350 followed by some descending S-turns, and then dropped into Wilmington International (it’s international now anyway) which has the attraction of 8,000ft of concrete among other things. It is also, it would like to point out, “one of the most dynamic, hospitable, progressive airports in the Carolinas”.
About 350 pax and crew left finding accommodation nearby – which is surprisingly widely available.
Bit of anticlimax for the firecrew who turned ouyt ready to tackle a widebody cargo fire, but a fantastic result for AMA Taxis of Wilmington and their competitors.