Travelers are accustomed to experiencing flight delays for a number of reasons. US DOT data indicates that the reasons we suspect are common culprits for flight delays tend to be the ones that ruin our vacation plans: aircraft arriving late, air carrier delays, national aviation system delays, and extreme weather. I would argue that a number of the delays are ultimately the long-term consequence of bad weather, but that’s an argument for another day.
However, I am willing to bet that you haven’t heard of a Garuda Indonesia flight was delayed on Tuesday! Flight GA 197 was flying from Kualanamu International Airport to Jakarta. It was delayed for over 4 hours because a bee had entered the aircraft’s pitot tube, which is a device designed to measure the plane’s speed. The airline’s vice president of corporate communications stated:
Based on a thorough investigation, the problem in the aircraft’s electronic engine control was caused by a bee entering the aircraft’s pitot tube located on the outer part of the cockpit, delaying the departure.
Interestingly, this is not the first time in recent memory that a bee has caused a flight delay. In June 2015, a bee was trapped inside of aircraft machinery on Flybe’s BE 384 from Southampton to Dublin.
All I have to say is that all of this is simply un-bee-lievable!