ISL Charter Flight Carrying Athletes, Support Staff Diverted after Turbulence

Group A of the International Swimming League was supposed to arrive in Naples, Italy on Monday afternoon, but turbulent weather has caused a change of plans, and the flight was instead diverted to Rome.

Because of the challenge of trying to fly commercially from Indianapolis to Naples (which would likely require connections in both Chicago and Rome), the league chartered a direct flight from Indianapolis to the southern Italian city of Naples. That flight included all of the athletes and coaches who are competing at both meets, plus league support staff.

After circling Naples twice, including one attempt at landing that was averted because there was too much turbulence, the United Airlines flight instead diverted to Rome. There, the athletes ate dinner at the airport and were taken to buses to be driven to Naples – about a 3.5 hour trip. The original plan was to arrive in Naples at 2:30 in the afternoon, with an updated arrival time of well after midnight.

Racing doesn’t begin in Naples until Saturday, so the change of destination shouldn’t impact the meet too much – but it turned a relatively-easy 8 hours direct flight into a 10 hour flight + bus ride, which could impact how long it takes athletes to make the adjustment to the new time zone. This could also impact athletes’ whereabouts filings for any unannounced out-of-competition drug tests.

There was no severe weather in the area, but athletes on the flight tell SwimSwam that it appeared to just be an excessive wind problem. The turbulence was described as “worse than normal, but nobody thought they were going to die.”

Below, the flight tracker from flightradar.com shows the plane circling and making an attempt to land before heading on to Rome.

The 4 teams making the trip are the Cali Condors, DC Trident, Energy Standard Swim Club, and Italian-based Aqua Centurions. Energy Standard came away victorious in the league’s inaugural meet last weekend in Indianapolis, followed by the Cali Condors, DC Trident, and Aqua Centurions. Caeleb Dressel will join the Condors this week in Naples, giving added starpower to Group A competition.

 

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Scubidubi

isn’t it a little risky to put so many Olympics on the same flight? Like…you know, accidents happen.

The Man Himself

You do realize that entire NBA, MLB, etc. teams fly together right? Not only that, but it’s statistically more likely they would’ve died in a car/bus.

beachmouse

While USA Figure Skating reportedly still doesn’t allow its whole team on the same plane due to the Sabena 538 crash, modern commercial aviation is extremely safe and dozens of teams fly charter like that every day. And dozens of flights every day have an abort and go round ( or abort and divert). It’s not precisely fun when you feel the plane wobble a bit and then the engines kick in unexpectedly and you’re going up again, but it’s not all that scary in probably 95-97% of aborted landing attempts either.

Tom

Anyone see at flightradar.com it was’n United flight. Charter was from LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Jane Dressel's Vertical Leap

Totally agree. Never put all your officers in one shuttlecraft.

Rob

Esepecially if they’re going to a conference, coach DeSoto!

Meeeeee

wow those stands look emply

The Kraken

It’s pretty clear that they’re warming up or cooling down, unless the 500 kick just became and event.

EmZee

This was taken during warmup, much before anyone had arrived. At least for the second day when I was there, the stands visible there were very well filled.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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