Stock photo: PA
A Southwest Airlines pilot inadvertently caused a bomb scare after wishing happy birthday to the mother of an air traffic controller on board his flight.
Panicked passengers reportedly mistook the words 'mom on board' for 'bomb on board' (far easier to do with the American accent and spelling), on the flight from Baltimore to Long Island.
But, according to Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandi King, the pilot did rush to reassure passengers when he realised what had happened.
According to the Daily Mail, King told TV station WCBS 880: "He did clarify with the passengers that he was wishing the mother on board a happy birthday."
The Federal Aviation Administration said that personal announcements were fairly common, and that although they will review air traffic control communication, the pilot and the flight crew were not under investigation.
Last week, meanwhile, a BA air steward was arrested for allegedly writing a bomb threat on a lavatory door mid-flight.
Matthew Davis, 22, allegedly penned: "The bomb on board will explode at 16.00 GMT unless our demands are met", on the plane's loo door at 35,000ft.
The flight from Tokyo to London was carrying 150 passengers, and landed safely at Heathrow, where, after an extended search, no explosives were found.
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