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A live bee forces British airline Flybe to send plane back to airport

Talk about the flight of the bumblebee. An aircraft from a British budget airline called Flybe (pronounced "Fly-bee") had to turn back because of a bee.

Even though the airline calls its passengers "Flybees," we're talking about a real bee.

Flybe Flight BE384, a turboprop flying from Southampton, England, to Dublin, Ireland, was forced to return to Southampton on Friday because of "a bee that had become lodged in an item of instrumentation on the outside of the aircraft," the airline said.

It also noted that "the aircraft landed without incident and all passengers disembarked as normal."

Flybe passenger Neal Rooney tweeted the real-time situation here:

In subsequent tweets, Rooney talked about "a swarm of media activity" and being "a little Beewildered."

Onion-like faux news site The Morning Gerald (whose moniker is "Well, it might have happened") tweeted this imaginative post.

But insects in airplanes are no laughing matter. In 1996, a Boeing 757 crashed in the Dominican Republic and killed all 189 passengers and crew on board. The reason? An investigation concluded that a wasp nest lodged in a key instrumentation tube caused the crash.

As for Flybe, the airline was in the news last year for another unusual in-flight event. The BBC reported that a pilot's artificial arm detached while he was landing the plane at Belfast City Airport in Ireland, "depriving him of control of the aircraft." It resulted in a bumpy landing, but no one was injured.


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