Chinese passengers try to open plane doors

Chinese air travellers have tried opening emergency doors without authorisation 12 times in barely four months on planes that were taxiing or at a standstill, and one man was put on trial in the country’s first such legal case, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said yesterday.

There is no immediate explanation for the apparent spike in the behaviour this year, although Chinese are travelling in record numbers, many of them flying for the first time and lacking basic aviation safety knowledge.

The man, identified only by his family name of Piao, stood trial on the charge of endangering public safety in the north-eastern city of Yanji, the administration said in a statement.

Piao opened an emergency door on an Asiana Airlines flight on February 12 when the plane was taxiing, causing the emergency slide to eject and prompting the flight crew to take emergency measures to halt the aircraft, the administration said.

His act caused the flight to be delayed for four hours and severely disrupted the airport operations, the administration said.

Earlier media reports said Piao mistakenly raised the handle of the emergency door and was administratively detained for 10 days.


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