Panic as passenger lunges for door mid-air
A MAN on a British Airways flight stepped in to stop a panicking passenger from opening the door as the plane was at 10,000 metres.
Passenger Dean Whyte, who stands a towering 200cm tall, bear-hugged the man when he started trying to pull on the exit lever screaming "I want to get out".
The terrifying incident happened about an hour before British Airways flight 263 from London Heathrow to Saudi Arabia was due to touch down on Monday night, local time, The Sun reported.
It's reported the "clearly agitated" man attempted to open a door at the rear of the plane while shouting out in broken English.
Another passenger, Ian McNally, spotted what was happening and quickly tried to stop a potential disaster.
Then Mr Whyte, the brother of British professional boxer Dillian Whyte and a boxer himself, rushed down the aisle to help along with other members of his entourage.
He was able to clinch the man in a powerful bear hug and drag him away from the door while saying: "Calm down, bruv."
"It was like something out of a movie," Mr Whyte later told The Guardian.
"When I got there he was shouting 'I want to get out' in broken English.
"I managed to grab him and was preparing to slam him hard if necessary. I held him and tried to calm him down. Eventually it worked."
Flight attendants carrying handcuffs closed in on the man, and he eventually went back to his seat for the remainder of the flight.
Mr Whyte was travelling to Saudi Arabia to support brother Dillian ahead of his fight on the undercard of Saturday's Andy Ruiz Jr v Anthony Joshua heavyweight title fight.
Joshua's mother Yeta Odusanya was also on the plane along with several staff from fight promoters Matchroom Sport.
Fellow flight "hero" Ian McNally said of Mr Whyte: "I was mightily relieved when I saw him rushing to help."
Another passenger added: "I thought that was it. Everyone who intervened were heroes."
A British Airways spokesperson said: "Our cabin crew cared for a customer who suffered from a panic attack during the flight. We are sorry for any concern this caused our customers."
The airline also pointed out it was impossible for an aircraft door to open in flight.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission