It’s the dance sensation that’s sweeping above the nation — at 30,000 feet.
The Harlem shake has gone aloft, breaking out on commercial airline flights, and appearing in dozens of YouTube videos.
Some of the videos were taped aboard planes on the ground. But the Federal Aviation Administration says it is looking into one instance of high-altitude dancing.
And airline pilots, flight attendants and others say the fad presents serious safety and security problems.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Jim Tilmon, a retired 29-year airline pilot. “A commercial airplane in flight … is not a dance hall, it’s not an entertainment stage, it’s not any of those things.”
“It’s cute, novel, all that sort of stuff,” he said, adding, “Wrong place, wrong time.”
Experts say they are not trying to be party poopers.
“I hate to be a bureaucratic kill-joy,” agreed Steve Wallace, former director of the FAA’s Office of Accident Investigation. “I think there is a safety issue here. Turbulence injuries are the most common type of injuries, and they are virtually eliminated when people are in their seat belts.”
Dancing is a bad idea even on the ground, said Veda Shook, president of the Association of Flight Attendants. She fretted about being labeled a “buzz kill.” But dancing impedes other passengers and makes it impossible for flight attendants to communicate with passengers, she said.