A swarm of bees delayed the departure of a US Airways Express flight leaving Charlotte for almost three hours. The crew that was to roll Flight 2690 from the gate was engulfed by the swarm, causing the delay of the scheduled departure.
Observer reporter, Jim Utter, was aboard the flight and tweeted that the plane was ‘bee free’ at around 3:45 p.m. The plane eventually left the North Carolina airport at 4:06 pm. ET.
Davian Anderson, spokesperson for US Airways, says the aircraft was boarded on Wednesday afternoon and prepared for departure from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, NBC News reports.
Mr. Anderson told how a worker approaching the tug, used to push the plane, noticed the bees. Apparently, the worker was struck with the fear of being stung and was unable to work the tug.
Michelle Mohr, spokeswoman for US Airways, reported that a beekeeper came in and caught the bees to release away from the airport.
There were a total of 79 passengers and four crewmembers aboard the delayed flight, which took off after the clearing of the swarm. The flight arrived in Indianapolis one hour later. The crew did engage with the passengers during the delay, inquiring if any person was allergic to bees. The cabin was briskly declared free of bees and no injuries to any passengers were reported.
“The bees were docile and just looking for a new home,” said the beekeeper, Jimmy Odom.
Other problems were encountered at the Charlotte airport on Wednesday, including a sighting of coyotes and a fire. “Today has been a tough day,” said Brent Cagle, interim airport director.
Both the coyote sighting and fire were minor, with the fire being contained and controlled almost immediately.
The emergency call came just before 5 p.m. A moving walkway on Concourse E had caught on fired. Concourse E is used for many US Airways regional jet departures.
The fire was extinguished by firefighters. For safety, the concourse was evacuated and the fire doors released. No injuries were reported from the fire, and no serious damage was incurred. Investigators determined the moving walkway’s motor started the fire.
While these mishaps were happening at the airport, there have been some other interesting developments as well. There has been a fair amount of controversy recently in the midst of a court case. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is being fought for by both the city and the state. Last week the state legislature passed a law that gives control of the city’s airport to a relevant authority. However, the Charlotte Observer reports, “…A judge has issued an injunction that leaves the city in control, at least for the time being.” This means that the airport director since1989, Jerry Orr, is no longer at the airport.