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FORGET playing paintball. Companies are sending staff to experience a plane crash in simulators run by British Airways as the ultimate team-building exercise. For £130 a head, employees are taken to a hangar at Heathrow where they board a shortened version of a Boeing 737 mounted on a motion platform. After “takeoff”, they are plunged into darkness and put into a nose-dive from 3,000ft as the cabin begins to fill with smoke. Once the plane has hit the ground, the “passengers” have to get out as fast as they can through the front and rear exits. By this stage, the employees are so pumped up that on three separate occasions businessmen have shorn through a half-inch steel bolt by hand so as to lift a 45lb overhead escape hatch and climb onto the plane’s wing. The half-day “crash courses” are so popular that BA has taken more than 350 bookings from about 8,500 oil executives, bankers, civil servants and staff at the Football Association.

Demand has increased in the past month in the wake of a US Airways Airbus A320 hitting a flock of birds above New York and ditching into the Hudson River. All 155 people on board survived. Andy Clubb, the customer services manager who runs the BA courses, said: “Most companies buy it for team-bonding purposes, as well as it being a safety exercise. “The adrenaline kicks in and they all bond together because they go through a stressful environment.” The passengers have to use oxygen masks in a decompressed cabin, crawl on the floor in a heated, darkened smoke chamber, put on lifejackets and launch themselves down emergency chutes. “The adrenaline certainly kicks in when smoke fills the cabin and you have to crawl on the floor.”

Is it really team-building if they KNOW it’s phony? I don’t think so. Now keep that bit of information from them, and this could be entertaining.




  1. amodedoma says:

    Drop em off in the middle of the wilderness with nothing but knives and rope. Better if it’s grizzly bear country. They’ll bond. Or they’ll feed the bears!

  2. Jimbo (the other one, I guess) says:

    Paintball is another stressful, team-building exercise. Why not a simulated plane crash? And it might turn out to be more practical.

  3. sargasso says:

    For realism, add a drunk Australian rugby team and a hundred panicked chinese tourists.

  4. LibertyLover says:

    #2,

    TrollingMode=On

    Paintball is another stressful, team-building exercise. Why not a simulated plane crash? And it might turn out to be more practical.

    Who says learning to fight off another group of people wanting your stuff isn’t practical in today’s economy?

    TrollingMode=Off

  5. Troublemaker says:

    I can now CLEARLY see why the world’s economy is falling apart so rapidly.

  6. Ron Larson says:

    So US Air was on to something then!

  7. Nimby says:

    Any cannibalism involved?

  8. Okay, let me be the first to ask: who’s the hottie in glasses in the photo?

  9. Daniel says:

    #8

    I dunno, but I swear that looks like my ex wife’s little sister.

  10. Glenn E. says:

    Ohhh, this is just so much psycho b*llsh*t. Team building? Where’s the proof of that. It’s just a thrill ride, on an airliner, in disguise. British Air makes some money, off of these businesses shareholders’ backs. Cause I can guarantee these “teammates” aren’t paying for this (or not the full price). But they have to pretend that these character building exercises are anything else but costly rollercoaster rides. If I were they, I’d hold out for a ride on the “vomit comet” plane. Thirty seconds of weightlessness is more fun.

  11. orangetiki says:

    hey it’s just like riding a rollercoaster except you get masks.

    And I would love to crash land on a deserted island with the girl in the back.

  12. BigBoyBC says:

    I did a one of those paint-ball team building outings, had quite the opposite effect. Several co-workers ended-up hating each other as the result. As for me, those damn paint-balls hurt when they hit, and they always seem to hit that one spot that isn’t as “protected” as other areas.

  13. cwebster says:

    So, what happens if one of the employees has a heart attack–is that workman’s comp? Who covers the liability? I’m sure they sign waivers, but I bet that can be contested in court, especially by a great attorney.


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