Obviously flying a plane is no small feat, but pilots have one, clear job to do: get passengers from point A to point B safely, and preferably without too much turbulence. Still, some pilots end up making horrifying or just plain negligent decisions in the cockpit that can put passengers' lives at risk, and apparently forgetting to pressurize the plane is one of them.
According to the BBC, the pilots of a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur on Thursday somehow "forgot" to do just that before takeoff. Partway through the flight, as the plane climbed higher and the air got thinner, some of the plane's 166 passengers suddenly started to feel sick. About a half-hour into the trip, at least 30 passengers reported feeling headaches and got nose bleeds, while others actually started bleeding from their ears.
Without any announcement from the flight crew, oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling, and passengers found themselves in a "panic situation," scrambling to put them on without any instructions.
"Scores of passengers including me bleeding from nose," Satish Nair wrote in a tweet about the flight. "No staff to help... no announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask. Passenger safety completely ignored."
About 45 minutes into the flight, the plane made a U-turn and headed back to Mumbai for an emergency landing. After it touched down, the more than 30 passengers who reported feeling ill received first aid treatment, while at least five passengers were taken to the hospital. Thankfully, according to the Indian Express, they've all been released.
In a statement, Jet Airways apologized for the incident and said that, eventually, the plane touched down "normally" in Mumbai—though an emergency landing of a plane full of bloody passengers doesn't exactly sound "normal."
“All guests were deplaned safely and taken to the terminal. First aid was administered to few guests who complained of ear pain, bleeding nose, etc.," the airline said. "Jet Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to its guests."
According to the Hindustan Times, India's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is looking into what went wrong, and the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation is already working on a report about the incident. Meanwhile, the crew on Thursday's flight has been suspended, which seems fair, given that all this mayhem was caused by the inability to flick a single switch.
Between brutal hailstorms, engine malfunctions, and "drunk or stoned" flight attendants, there's already a lot to worry about every time you board a plane. Now, unfortunately, it looks like you can add "pilots accidentally subjecting you to an oxygen-deprived death chamber" to the list.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.