Stuck Building Elevator Traps Pilot, Flight Delayed Four Hours (Corrected)


It seems there are still new ways for airliners to be delayed as Qatar Airways passengers headed to Doha, Qatar, from Birmingham, England, found on Tuesday. The flight was delayed more than four hours as firefighters worked to free the pilot and several cabin crew from a stuck elevator. The delay caused numerous passengers to miss connections to places like New Zealand and Australia.

The flight was supposed to leave at 7:45 a.m. and the crew was in plenty of time for the flight, so they thought. The elevator (it’s unclear if it was at the airport or their hotel) trapped them at about 6 a.m. and it took firefighters until 9:30 a.m. to free them. The plane left about 11:40 a.m. Doha is a popular interim destination for Europeans headed to Asia and the South Pacific, and passengers told local media that almost all onboard had connections to make in Doha.

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the airline involved. We regret the error.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. After reading the headline only, I had a picture of an obese pilot trapped behind the control yoke and wondered what the heck is going on at Emirates πŸ˜‚

  2. If you’ve never been stuck in an elevator for an extended time, count your blessings. No matter how fresh you are, it won’t be long before you’ll wonder why they don’t come with emergency relief tubes …

  3. Good observation. Emirates doesn’t fly to Doha from Europe. Either it was Qatar Airways or perhaps the author confused Doha with Dubai.

    • Since it happened in the UK, a less-ambiguous headline might have been, “Stuck LIFT Traps Pilot.” But there’d still be some wondering about some odd aerodynamic effect… πŸ™‚

  4. Been there ; done that; wore the Tee Shirt .πŸš’
    Crew Dispatch : ” notify a ready reserve. ” 🀣

  5. Ok – I’ll admit it – I too pictured an elevator locked into the full up position with the poor pilot unable to move.

  6. OK Russ, ya got me with that headline. A relative was injured when the elevator of the Piper stuck on approach, not funny at all.

  7. My mental image was the plane at 51,000 and unable to get down, till it ran 4 hours of fuel out.

  8. No commercial pilot was confused. I know othets this has happened to on layovers, always while on the last ride to check out and go fly.