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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Flight crew fakes emergency for soccer fans
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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Flight crew fakes emergency for soccer fans

nobody could ever accuse futbol (soccer) fans of not being passionate about the game but this is definitely over the top... whoever holds the licenses for those pilots should immediately yank them... i don't care if the plane was chartered by the gambian president, if you can't rely on what an aircraft pilot is telling you, you're screwed...
Pilots of a chartered jet carrying 289 Gambian soccer fans faked the need for an emergency landing in Peru so passengers could watch their nation's team play a key match, officials said Wednesday.

The plane, claiming to be low on fuel, landed Tuesday in Peru's northern coast city of Piura, where Gambia played Qatar in the FIFA Under-17 World Championships later that night.

Emergency crews were scrambled ahead of the Lockhead L1011 Tri-Star's unscheduled landing. It was to have landed in the capital, Lima.

The fans were allowed to watch the soccer game in Piura, which Gambia won 3-1. The fans apparently would have been late or missed the game if the flight had first gone to its scheduled destination of Lima, 550 miles to the south.

"It truly was a scam," said Betty Maldonado, a spokeswoman for Peru's aviation authority, CORPAC. "They tricked the control tower, saying they were low on fuel."


Piura city spokesman Carlos Ordonez said the Gambians' presence caused a "sensation" in the city, which rolled out the red carpet for the African guests, offering performances by local folk singers and dancers.

probably the biggest thing to happen to piura in decades... i'm glad the passengers got to see the soccer game... i'm glad the piura townsfolk got a chance to celebrate... nonetheless, those pilots should never be allowed to crew an airplane again...

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