vidTO: Passenger Loses It at 30,000 ft.

Edit: See my additional comments about the context of this video and response to some of the comments below.

It's that magical time of the year again. As a healthy layer of snow settles gently on the city and temperatures drop this evening, why not cuddle up by the fire with your loved ones and watch as a London-bound Air Canada passenger totally loses his shit, screaming obscenities and yelling "shoot me!" and "fucking white people!" while being restrained by those around him.

It looks as though the crew and/or passengers had already restrained the man at the hands by the time the video begins, and is also being physically restrained by passengers next to him. It's not too clear what actually spurred the raging outburst, and not even the video's author is too certain, "I don't know what happened here. But this happened on my Air Canada plane ride to London, England in December 6th, 2007 from Toronto."

It's hard to believe that this guy just went off the deep end without any sort of provocation, especially given his extreme defensiveness, and the video shooter even expresses some suspicion, "I have no idea what this man was going through, but I feel that he seemed more concerned for his own safety? I think he was scared."

Hell, I'd be scared too if I had my hands tied together and two rather burly looking men were restraining me - not quite my idea of a good time. That being said, I can't imagine that the flight crew would break out the plastic hand restraints, clearly seen around the passengers' wrists, without some kind of unexpected and potentially dangerous behaviour.

As part of my work around this time of year, I fly twice a week, and have never witnessed this kind of thing before. It's clearly not something you want to experience while hurdling through the air at 30,000+ feet, so it's not surprising to see the somewhat shaken demeanor of the woman seated in front of the man near the end of the video.

Have you ever experienced this kind of thing in-flight? What do you think actually went down to provoke this kind of a reaction, and how do you think the crew/passengers handled it? Sound off in the comments.

***Update:*** Well it's not much of a surprise, but this post has generated quite the firestorm in the comments.

Some have questioned the way in which this post was written, so I'll paraphrase my response I made personally to one of the commenters in this post, Tabish Bhimani.

There's a lot happening in this video, and the very nature of it is a highly sensitive topic of discussion. It's a fine line making any conclusions about a video that was clearly shot with no context.

I pulled a couple quotes above, namely "shoot me" and "fucking white people", and I posed the question from both sides since the facts are not clear - maybe there's a reason why they broke out the restraints, and at the same time, maybe there was some incendiary comment made by another passenger to set this guy off.

I'm not a psychologist, nor am I a doctor, and even if I were, I'd probably be hard pressed to make any conclusions about what was going on in this video without seeing what set it off. Therefore, I'm not going to make any assumptions that this is a panic attack and I think it would be extremely inappropriate to do so without having actually been there.

I'm glad there is disagreement as to what's happening in the video, and I hope that if you have an opinion, you'll voice it. I write because I want to, not because I have to, so to get a passionate response from readers is fantastic.

As to whether blogTO should be covering this video or not, as a commenter pointed out below, The Ottawa Citizen and The Calgary Herald have both picked up the story, and Michelle Malkin has already linked it up as well. They won't be the last to do so, since mainstream media is only just starting to pick this up, and others will spin the context in many directions.

The video exists, and there's an opportunity here to get some discussion going before it becomes sensationalized. These are passengers originating from Toronto, and many are likely taxpaying citizens of the city, so to say that this doesn't belong on blogTO is kind of outrageous. What if the same thing had happened on the TTC?

Anyway, thanks for all your comments, and I appreciate your feedback.

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