A Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to Mumbai was forced to turn back after a pilot remembered that he had left an iron box switched on at his Nairobi home.
The early morning flight had taken off as expected and the plane was in excellent condition. However, barely 15 minutes into the flights and before the plane could climb to a cruising altitude, everything changed. The captain had a mild panic attack after he could not recall clearly whether he remembered to unplug the iron box after ironing his uniform.
Not used to taking unnecessary risks (like any good pilot), the captain was forced to make the uncomfortable decision of declaring an emergency and turning back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in order to set his house in order.
On landing, the pilot hesitated to do the paperwork and instead explained to the team on the ground why he was forced to declare an emergency. Luckily, most of them are familiar with the anxiety that is associated with leaving an iron box plugged in, and there was no need for any paperwork. Instead, one person from the ground control staff offered to take the captain’s house keys and go do a physical check. The captain was cleared to make the flight again.
The almost empty flight was delayed for more than two hours before they were cleared to fly again, with Kenya Civil Aviation Authority launching investigations into the incidence. Kenya Airways did not issue any statement on the matter, and the Kenya Airline Pilots Association said that Kenya Power is to blame for the matter.
The few passengers who were onboard were made to understand that the flight was affected by unfavorable weather condition, and there was no need to panic.
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