‘Curious’ Wings Air passenger blacklisted for opening emergency exit door

Wings Air’s ATR 72-600 aircraft. Photo: Laurent Errera via Wikimedia Commons
Wings Air’s ATR 72-600 aircraft. Photo: Laurent Errera via Wikimedia Commons

A man has been blacklisted from Wings Air, a subsidiary of low cost airline Lion Air, for opening an emergency exit door shortly before takeoff recently. 

The 30-year-old man, identified by his initials PMP, boarded the plane, which was carrying 43 passengers and scheduled to depart from Balikpapan, East Kalimantan to Malinau regency, North Kalimantan on Saturday morning.

Balikpapan Police Chief Turmudi said PMP, who sat on the emergency exit row on the right side of the plane, opened the emergency exit door as the plane was taxiing for takeoff.

“He said he got curious after hearing [safety instructions] from the stewardess and reading the plane’s safety instruction booklet. After that, he opened the [emergency] window,” Turmudi told Kompas via text message on Saturday.

PMP told the authorities that he opened the emergency exit door because he was told by the stewardess that he would be in charge of it given his seating position. But he seemed to miss the memo that the door should only be opened in an emergency.

All passengers were evacuated from the plane and returned to the waiting room at the airport. They were later flown on another aircraft some three hours later.

PMP was not among them that time, as he was facing questioning by authorities at Sepinggan Airport. He may be charged with violating flight safety under Indonesia’s Aviation Law, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison or a IDR500 million fine (US$36,540)

For now, PMP has been blacklisted from all Wings Air flights. Wings Air is only one of a couple of airlines that serves the Malinau route, which is one that PMP reportedly regularly travels for work.


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