Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear little gold wings.
Michael Bradley, an easyJet pilot taking his family on vacation, did not expect to find himself back in the cockpit on a flight from Manchester, England to Alicante, Spain on September 2, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Bradley and his family were passengers on the easyJet flight, which was severely delayed after the original pilot did not show up. So the off-duty pilot offered to fly the plane instead. Having your trip turn into a working vacation sure beats having to cancel your plans, after all.
According to the Manchester Evening Standard, Bradley called his employers to tell them he was standing in the terminal, had his license and I.D. on hand, and was happy to take over the flight at a moment’s notice – as long as they didn’t mind that he wasn’t in uniform.
“They said 'we'll phone you back'. Thirty eight seconds later they phoned me back and said 'please, please pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the aeroplane to Alicante',” Bradley told the Manchester Evening Standard. His wife and young son were able to remain in their seats.
Another passenger, Michelle Potts, shared a video of Bradley announcing to the cabin that he was taking over the flight.
“[I got] to boarding and asked the guy at the desk what's going on he said ‘oh your pilots gone missing but a guy that's going on your flight is going to fly the plane’ REALLY CASUALLY,” Potts wrote on Facebook.
Potts was understandably relieved to learn that this man was a real pilot and not some guy who just felt like flying a plane that day.
A spokesperson for easyJet told the Manchester Evening Standard, “This is fully in line with regulations as he had his licence and ID with him. Safety is always our highest priority.”
The spokesperson also noted that Bradley was well rested and could legally take over the plane, since he had the previous four days off.
The flight delay was apparently caused by airline cancellations and other delays that were a result of the French Air Traffic Control Failure on September 1.
“We are grateful to one of our pilots who was travelling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on 2 September with his family and volunteered to operate the flight,” easyJet told the Manchester Evening News. “This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew.”