Speed Reads

'Toto, I don't think we're in coach anymore'

Photo captures passenger plane taking off just as a tornado prepares to touch down

Photo captures passenger plane taking off just as a tornado prepares to touch down

Squeamish flyers, beware: This is a summer travel photo you can't unsee.

A RyanAir flight ferrying a load of English vacationers to Majorca, Spain — which averages a sunny 87 degrees on this date — was spotted taking off from East Midlands Airport just ahead of a developing tornado. The resulting photo spread swiftly around the world, as travelers pondered the bravery (or folly) of flying the unfriendly skies:

Lest you begin hyperventilating the next time your flight is taxiing towards a distant, stormy oblivion, take heart: Boeing spokesman John Dern assures travelers that commercial planes are certified to travel in "extreme conditions."