Filipino Tourist Sets New World Record For Fastest Airplane-Touchdown-to-Seatbelt-Unfastening Time
(Tokyo, Japan) – Las Piñas, Metro Manila native Ronald Dimalanta, 37, set a new world record Tuesday when he managed to unfasten his seatbelt an astounding 0.009 seconds after his All Nippon Airways airplane touched down in Haneda Airport in Tokyo at 19:15 local time.
The ANA Boeing 787’s state-of-the-art safety control system detected the almost instantaneous seatbelt detachment as the airplane’s rear tires made contact with the tarmac, before the Filipino tourist bolted from his seat, collected his 20kg suitcase in a single open-and-grab motion and reached the nearest exit door in 2.67 seconds while the plane was still shaking violently as it decelerated on the runway.
Dimalanta’s time beat by 0.008 seconds the previous 8-year-old record of 0.017 seconds set by Nigerian businessman Adamu Chinwendu at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria in 2015.
As of this report, the Guinness World Records has still not completed the process of verifying this incredible feat of human agility in a confined space, although its spokesperson sees no apparent obstacle to its eventual certification.
In a Zoom interview after he and his wife reached their AirBnB in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Dimalanta recalled that the events happened so fast, he almost didn’t have time to think. “I realized I had probably done something amazing when the Japanese stewardess still strapped in her seat near the exit door started screaming hysterically ‘Sir, please return to your seat! RETURN TO YOUR SEAT, SIIRRR!!!’
“By the time the plane came to a full stop and the aisles started filling up with people, we were already halfway out the door. Our quick thinking probably saved us around 90 seconds for the whole immigration procedure from the time we deplaned until we exited customs check, which was totally worth it.”
His wife Pinky Dimalanta, 36, who was almost immediately at his side in front of the exit door, was clocked at a relatively lethargic 0.047 seconds, placing her at a disappointing sixth in the all-time airplane-touchdown-to-seatbelt-unfastening ranking.
“We used to be so much quicker in our 20s,” said Pinky, “but we didn’t have enough money at that time to go traveling.”
The couple is in Japan for a week of sightseeing, including a full day in Tokyo Disneyland, where their agility and spacial awareness will prove an asset when cutting in line in front of popular attractions such as Splash Mountain and Haunted Mansion.
“Let’s face it, travel in the 21st century has become a competitive sport and waiting for your turn or yielding to others with fake modesty will get you nowhere,” added Dimalanta. “I read mainland Chinese tourists are out in force in Japan post-pandemic and we look forward to honing our dodging and darting skills around them.”
The fleet-footed Filipino acknowledged, however, that the couple’s elbowing technique is probably still not up to par to hold off the hordes of Japanese salarymen boarding the Tokyo Metro during rush hour.