It is said that nobody dies in flight, and legally that is true in most cases. The reason is that only a medical doctor can pronounce someone dead. So unless a doctor is on board, a person will only be pronounce dead on ground.
Recently a british airways passenger travelling first class woke up from a nap on a long haul flight to find that cabin crew had placed a corpse in his row. The woman in her seventies, who died after the plane left Delhi for Heathrow, was carried by cabin staff from economy to first class, where there was more space. The passenger became very concerned about the state of the body. “When you have a decaying body on a plane at room temperature for more than five hours there are significant health and safety risks,” he said.
After the plane landed, those in first class remained on board for an hour before police and a coroner gave the all-clear. On average, there were about 10 deaths each year out of every 36m passengers.
Other carriers use different procedures. Singapore Airlines has introduced “corpse cupboards” on its Airbus 340-500 aircraft. Cabin crews use the locker if there is no empty row of seats to place a corpse. These can be found at EEYCL cabin near door four right.
*** Did you know***
- When you have a full load on board, what do you do with a dead body? A certain airline left the corpse in a designated toilet and lock it. Hours later when the plane landed, rigor mortis has set in and the body became too stiff to be move. They end up breaking down the toilet door and the plane had to be grounded 48 hours for repairs.
- Dead passengers in economy or business class usually get a free UPGRADE to first class, where usually the load is not full.
- If the corpse is of a big built and located in the aft ( back end ) of aircraft, crew may have difficulty moving it down the narrow aisle way, so the use of a transportation vehicle is helpful, this will be the meal carts you are being serve your meals with.
- Most of the times, Pilots report " time of death" as " JUST AS WE LANDED". Officially, when a passenger is taken ill or died on board, pilots are suppose to land at the nearest available airport. Captains hate to do that as it mess up their schedules, cost the airline thousands in fuel and delays. So " just as we landed" is the best option. After all, they are dead aren’t they?
- For planes with crew bunks, in the event of deaths on a full load, which bed do you think they shove the corpse to? The answer is quiet common sense …. the most assessible one. Look out for it…