A woman who opened the emergency exit of a moving plane as it was preparing for take-off was found guilty earlier today of “endangering public safety.” For her crime, a Jilin province court did not punish the woman.
Piao Yinglan was on board an Asiana Airlines flight from Yanji to Incheon in South Korea in February of last year when she popped open the emergency exit, causing the emergency slide to be deployed, forcing the pilot to stop the airliner, resulting in a 4 hour delay and 34,000 yuan of economic damages.
In court, Piao pleaded guilty and managed to escape any punishment because her acts did not cause any injuries to fellow passengers or any severe economic loss for the airline, Chinese media reported, adding that this is the first time such a case had been heard by a Chinese court.
Likely though, it will not be the last. Chinese passengers opening emergency exits on planes has become a fairly common occurrence in recent years. While it’s not clear why Piao decided to open the door, in the past, other Chinese passengers have done so to “get some fresh air” to “get off plane quicker” or simply because they thought it was the door to the toilet.
[Images via Caijing]