Virgin Pilot Blown Over By Nearby Plane, Suffers Injuries

A Virgin Australia pilot was thrown off his plane's aluminum staircase and suffered extensive injuries after a nearby Qantas jet thrust its engine.

The Brisbane Times reports that the pilot was conducting pre-flight checks on the 737, which was parked at Brisbane airport's international terminal before its scheduled takeoff to Bali.

The airline also goes under the alias Virgin Blue down under.

A nearby Qantas jumbo jet was taxiing towards the runway to take off for Sydney when the jet blast its engines close to the Virgin plane, causing the pilot to fall and the stairs to blow over. The pilot suffered a fractured arm and leg.

Now safety experts are scratching their heads trying to figure out how things went wrong. Both Virgin and Qantas are sticking to their guns, saying their planes were in the right place and did nothing abnormal.

A Virgin spokesman told the Brisbane Times: "Our plane was in the right place at the right time. The one dynamic which was different was the thrust level of the Qantas plane, which caused the stairs to blow over." Yet Qantas maintains that their jet was "operating normally."

Virgin added to Agence France Presse that a second pilot was also taken to the hospital but is now home.

Qantas, it should be noted, has enough problems to deal with at the moment. Its staff is striking, causing flight cancellations and delays across the Australia.

Wonder if the pilot was wearing one of these snazzy outfits when he fell?