NEW YORK — A jammed lock on an airplane bathroom door caused anxious moments for the pilots aboard a flight from North Carolina to New York City.
The captain told air traffic controllers he accidentally got stuck on the LaGuardia Airport-bound Chautauqua Airlines flight from Asheville on Wednesday night.
When a passenger with an unfamiliar accent tried to alert the co-pilot in the cockpit, the co-pilot became alarmed and notified air traffic controllers, according to a recording of the radio exchange from the website LiveATC.net.
“The captain has disappeared in the back and I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit right now, and I’ve got to deal with this situation,” the co-pilot says.
A controller tells him to consider declaring an emergency.
“OK, Chautauqua, you guys ought to declare an emergency and just get on the ground,” a controller says.
The captain eventually got himself free from the lavatory. He told controllers there was no threat.
“The captain — myself — went back to the lavatory and the door latched … and had to fight my way out of it with my body to get the door open,” the captain says. “There is no issue, no threat.”
A spokesman for Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings, which runs Chautauqua, did not immediately comment on the misunderstanding.