Norwegian flight carrying 60 plumbers turns back due to broken toilets

A flight was forced to turn back to Oslo Airport because the on-board toilet facilities were out of order - despite the presence of 60 qualified plumbers on board.

Norwegian flight carrying 60 plumbers turns back due to broken toilets
File photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Radar images from Norwegian flight DY1156 to Munich show the aircraft changing route and landing back at Oslo.

The flight, which took off from Oslo Airport at 9:34am on Saturday, had been due to land in Munich at 11:45am.

But it turned around near the Swedish border over the Skagerrak sea, flew north and then circled before landing back at Oslo.

Flight mapping website FlightRadar24 tweeted details of the unexpected change in course.

“It is correct that DY1156 from Oslo bound for Munich was forced to turn back to Oslo because a fault was found with the toilets on board. The aircraft circled over Hedmark to burn fuel so that it wasn't too heavy to land,” Fatima Elkadi, communications officer with Norwegian, told Dagbladet on Saturday.

A further twist to the story emerged when the newspaper flushed out information revealing that 85 people from the Norwegian plumbing industry – of which around 60 were plumbers from the Rørkjøp company – were on board the aborted flight.

The sanitation technicians were travelling as part of a work trip, according to the report.

“So many plumbers on an aircraft and it has to turn back due to toilet trouble. That is enough to make you laugh,” Hans Christian Ødegård, a plumber from Ulstein who was on the flight, told Dagbladet.

Rørkjøp CEO Frank Olsen also told the newspaper that the passengers took the situation with good humour.

“We'd have gladly fixed the toilets, but it must unfortunately be done from the outside and we didn't want to take a chance on sending out a plumber at 10,000 metres' altitude,” Olsen said.

The flight was rescheduled for later the same day.

READ ALSO: Radio station streams toilet in Slow TV gag


Drunk-on-job pilot jailed for 10 months

The Latvian pilot arrested drunk as he was preparing to fly an Air Baltic flight from Oslo’s Gardermoen airport to Greece with 109 passengers on board has been jailed for 10 months.

Drunk-on-job pilot jailed for 10 months
An Air Baltic flight leaves Oslo's Gardermoen airport. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix
The captain, who has not been named under Norwegian privacy laws, was found guilty of all four charges. 
“As captain, the accused has grossly neglected his duties, and could, if the flight had taken place, put a large number of people at risk. This is particularly the case, as the co-pilot must be considered as also being severely affected,”  Judge Karen Wendel Sandaa wrote in her verdict. 
Four of the plane’s staff, the captain, co-pilot and two cabin crew, were arrested in a state of intoxication on the morning of the flight. 
According to a blood test, the captain had a blood alcohol level of 0.54, well beyond the legal level. 
He also consumed alcohol less than eight hours before the flight, and failed in fulfilling his duties as a captain by allowing a drunk crew to board the plane. 
During the trial, the 50-year-old admitted to having been drunk, saying he had consumed half a litre of brandy the previous afternoon. 
He claimed, however, that he had stopped drinking before 8pm the evening before the flight and believed the he and his crew had been sober. 
Wendel Sandaa dismissed the man’s claims, citing witnesses who observed the four becoming increasingly drunk throughout the evening, and pointing to the two empty litre bottles of whiskey found in the room they shared. 
She also noted that the captain had himself put one of the stewardesses to bed, suggesting he was aware that she was severely intoxicated, and had sent someone to wake his co-pilot before the flight, indicating he expected him to have trouble rousing himself unaided. 
The court said there was little doubt that the crew were intending to fly, as the captain had already turned on the lights on the instrument panel and made a preliminary inspection of the the plane’s exterior, at the time when he was arrested.