A British pilot, his Belgian co-pilot and 19 passengers have been killed, after a plane crashed in somewhat bizarre circumstances.
The sole survivor of the crash, Arthur Skydiver, told authorities the unlikely series of events which had unfolded. He said "We boarded the plane at Stansted, and were due to fly to Luton. I saw a bloke get on the plane and he was carrying a large holdall, which seemed to be moving of its own accord. After a bit of a struggle, he managed to get the bag into the overhead luggage locker. The plane took off, but as it banked and climbed away from Stansted, the bag fell, bursting open when it hit the floor. Well, fuck me, it only contained a 4 metre long crocodile. When everybody saw it, there was just chaos. We shat ourselves and all ran to the front of the plane, but the pilot just couldn't keep it up, despite the best efforts of a stewardess".
Air accident investigators say the plane, a 1916 Sopwith Camel, was destabilised by the sudden transfer of weight when the passengers all moved at once. They also said that this type of plane was not really designed for use as a passenger plane, but that it was becoming increasingly popular with budget airlines. The crocodile is believed to have been taken aboard by mistake, as its owner is understood to have thought that he had just purchased a new crocodile skin handbag for his wife.
The Ministry of Defence is believed to have placed an order for a number of these planes, which will be adapted for aircraft carrier operations.