Russian national flag carrier’s flight attendant must have been very surprised when one of the passengers on Aeroflot flights called her over and handed her a handgun and two pieces of ammunition as the plane was flying 26,000 feet above the ground.
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Apparently, the man had no ill intent, but just forgot to check-in his weapon with his other luggage. After the takeoff, the man opened his carry-on bag to get out his medication, and to his surprise discovered his gun there. He hurried to inform the crew that he forgot to leave the weapon at check-in.
When the captain was told, he immediately decided to make an emergency landing to “assure the safety of air transportation.”
The plane, which was traveling from Moscow to the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Burgos, landed in the city of Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia on Thursday.
The gun owner was escorted to the police station where his weapon was confiscated pending an investigation. It turned out that the man had all the proper papers needed to carry a Russian-made ‘traumatic’ (non-lethal) handgun.
However, an administrative case regarding violation of weapon transportation rules was launched against him. The plane was able to continue its flight after a delay.
Aeroflot pointed out that it was not to blame for the incident, and that preflight inspections are the responsibility of the airport of departure – Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Sheremetyevo International Airport is one of four air hubs servicing the Russian capital. The largest airport in the country, it serviced 48.5 million passengers in 2018.
The airport is currently conducting an internal investigation into how the passenger was able to bring his weapon on a plane undetected.