Brendan Duffy’s friends and family knew they would need to brace themselves as they paid their final respects at his funeral in Berkshire, England. But the Irishman’s nearest and dearest never expected to hear a booming voice order them to “fasten [their] seatbelts” and “prepare doors for landing.”
In a uniquely 21st century case of crossed wireless communications, a microphone in use at the funeral in St. Edward’s Church in Windsor, Berkshire was on the same frequency as an airplane flying overhead. The Daily Mail reports that the congregation heard the landing instructions issued by a flight attendant as the plane made its way to Heathrow Airport.
The bizarre incident occurred as RTE presenter Joe Duffy eulogized his Uncle Brendan, a grandfather of four who died at the age of 78 on August 8. The mourners were at first startled by the interruption, and then burst into laughter.
The younger Duffy told The Sun newspaper, “Everyone was looking around and up to heaven, trying to figure out where the voice was coming from.”
While the officiant, Fr. Michael Morrissey, was said to be embarrassed by the gaffe, the Duffy family took the incident in stride.
“My dad would have found it amusing,” said Duffy’s daughter Deidre. “He had a fantastic sense of humor.