easyJet Pilot Flies Himself To Holiday After Original Pilot Goes Missing

An off duty easyJet pilot, Michael Bradley, was so keen to get on his holidays this week, he flew the plane himself. Despite arriving at the airport with his family and bags, Mr. Bradley was clearly not willing to accept a long delay while the airline waited for a replacement pilot, and instead got the all clear to fly to Alicante.

easyJet pilot
An off duty pilot was determined to get on his holiday. Photo: Jo Bailey/Simple Flying

We’ve all seen those films where somebody shouts from the cockpit, “Does anyone know how to fly a plane?”. Well, this situation wasn’t quite that dramatic, but still ended up with a random holidaymaker piloting the plane. Here’s how it went down.

What happened?

According to Michael Bradley himself, the drama began around 3am when his wife punched him in the back of the head. She was concerned that their flight to Alicante had been delayed two hours for unknown reasons.

Undeterred by the news, Bradley, who is an easyJet pilot, along with his wife and young son headed to Manchester Airport to catch the flight. According to Mr. Bradley, he had packed his ‘good shoes’ and pilots license, just in case.

Faced with a delay, he offered to fly the plane himself. Photo: Jo Bailey/Simple Flying

On arrival at the airport, he was advised that the flight was delayed due to the assigned pilot not being there in time. Keen to get on his way, Bradley called up easyJet and offered his assistance. In his own words, they said,

“…please, please pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the aeroplane to Alicante?”

As such, passengers on the plane were treated to a rare sight when Bradley, dressed in casual clothes, headed not to his seat but instead to the cockpit. You can watch Mr. Bradley introducing himself, in a very humorous manner, in the video below:

Clearly, the rest of the passengers were as keen to get on their holidays as the Bradley family were, and his introduction was met with hearty cheers from the people on board. The video was shot by Michelle Hannah Potts, a passenger who was headed off on holiday herself.

Is this normal?

Clearly, a passenger stepping in and offering to pilot a plane is very far from normal. Usually, passengers are not allowed anywhere near the cockpit, but Mr. Bradley is no ordinary passenger.

As a qualified and licensed easyJet pilot, Mr. Bradley was in a great position to help out. According to easyJet, he was well-rested and had all the necessary ID and licenses with him that made it safe to allow him to fly.

The passengers were soon on their way to Alicante. Photo: Jo Bailey/Simple Flying

A spokesperson for easyJet told ITV News,

“We are grateful to one of our pilots who was travelling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on September 2 with his family and volunteered to operate the flight. This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew. This is fully in line with regulations as he had his license and ID with him. Safety is always our highest priority.”

According to the airline, the delay was related to the air traffic control failure in France over the weekend, which had knock on effects with pilots in the wrong place, and standby crew being roped in to fly instead.

How would you feel if a passenger offered to fly your plane? Has anything like this happened to you? Let us know in the comments!