There have been numerous reports of aircraft disasters in recent weeks. Some of the aircraft went down in freak accidents while others were taken down by antiaircraft missiles shot by terrorists on the ground. Yesterday, in an unintended heroic act of bravery, an elderly blind man prevented a hijacking of a commercial aircraft carrying 200 passengers and crew.
We have learned from the Associated Press that a terrorist, whose name has not been released to the public because the investigation is ongoing, stood up about 15 minutes after takeoff with a gun in full view of all passengers. Well, all but one passenger, to be precise.
Passengers on KLM's flight 638 to Paris said that Jonathan Grolsch of upstate New York "threw a blanket he had just obtained from a flight attendant over the the terrorist's head and body immediately after the terrorist said 'this is a hijacking, if you want to live, you will follow all of my instructions'". Mr Grolsch said in an interview that he is hard of hearing, but the terrorist's "teeth were chattering very loud and thought (he) could help him protect against getting a cold". The terrorist was caught by surprise and panicked, making it easy for the sky marshal on board to further immobilize him.
Even though Mr Grolsch was unaware of the situation at hand, his fellow passengers are grateful that he helped to avert the umpteenth aircraft disaster of the year. One passenger, who was fending off tears during the interview, said that she owes her "whole life to Mr Grolsch" and that she wishes him "many more years to come, which are all filled with happiness".
At press time we received preliminary reports that the terrorist suffers from a rare health condition that causes involuntary jaw spasms and that he normally wears a mouth guard to reduce loud sounds of teeth chattering and clenching that follow a stress-induced fit, but he mistakenly packed it with his toiletries in his checked bag.
Update: Mr Grolsch died just three days after the original story was published as a result of a battle with the avian flu.