Passengers mistake 'mom' for 'bomb'
A pilot who sent birthday greetings to a colleague's "mom" on board triggered panic when passengers thought he said "bomb".
An air traffic controller asked the Southwest Airlines pilot to wish his mother a happy birthday as he flew from Baltimore to New York.
Taking to the plane's intercom, the pilot told passengers that they had a "mom on board" - but man thought he said a "bomb on board".
Panicking passengers asked other members of the crew to clarify what the pilot had said, and were assured that there was no bomb.
Several passengers complained to the authorities about the announcement.
Brandi King, spokesman for Southwest Airlines, said: "The pilot made an announcement that was misunderstood.
"He did clarify with the passengers that he was wishing the mother on board a happy birthday."
In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said: "Pilots and controllers will sometimes engage in brief greetings.
"If such conversations go beyond this limit, controllers are counselled to refrain from such unnecessary talk."