Pilot says mom, passengers hear 'bomb'

A pilot in the US caused a mid-air scare when he wished happy birthday to a ''mom'' aboard his plane but passengers instead thought he was referring to a "bomb".

The pilot in the Southwest Airlines flight wished happy birthday to the mother of an air traffic controller on board his flight from Baltimore to MacArthur airport in Long Island, New York.

A spokeswoman for the airlines said the misunderstanding took place when some passengers heard the phrase "bomb on board" instead of "mom on board", the Daily Mail reported.

Airline staff rushed to reassure the terrified passengers and the pilot tried to explain what he meant.

"He did clarify with the passengers that he was wishing the mother on board a happy birthday," the spokeswoman said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said personal announcements were fairly commonplace, and that it will review air traffic control communication.

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