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Deep Creek Hot Springs

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (73% of Full)


Re: A man smelling the planes?

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October 18, 2012 07:26PM
Haha, entertaining. I fly at least twice a week, every week, since August 2001. The movie "Up in the Air" is an accurate portrayal of my life, and it's not a fun lifestyle. That's why, in keeping with the theme of this forum, sitting in a hot spring is such a reward if time allows for it. Of course, in a decade of flying, a few quick stories to share:

- In Atlanta a few years ago, we were delayed 30 minutes because there was a missing ashtray in the bathroom. Yes smoking is not allowed any more, but it doesn't matter, because a plane is not allowed to take off according to FAA regulations with missing parts!

- In Jacksonville, I was aboard an MD80 when a passenger became frantic and asked to speak with the captain. The plane was still at the gate. Hence the co-pilot made his way to his seat, sat in it, which was near the window, and said "you're right that does look like duct tape on that wing". 20 minutes later it was confirmed that maintenance didn't wipe off excess oil near the flaps.

- Flying over Nebraska on a sunny cloudless day, the plane pitched about 45 degrees down, violently. The service cart went flying and the flight attendant had just enough time to brace herself. The pilot came on and only said "everyone hold on". He regained control about 30 seconds later from the dive. As he explained when everyone calmed down, we hit a micro burst, a fierce downdraft at high altitude. When they happen near the ground, they are deadly, but so high up, there's room to recover. The cabin was covered with spilled drinks and debris though.

- Taking off from Kansas City, the right engine caught fire - nothing large, although fire on an aircraft is somewhat unnerving. Everyone was surprisingly calm, because we were all frequent flyers for the most part. Everyone just looked over, saw the flames and went back to what they were doing. Of course we made an emergency landing.

- On a flight from Atlanta to Denver, I was sitting beside three rural hunters ... about 2003 if I recall. These characters were straight out of the Dukes of Hazard. One leaned over to me and asked if I was using "one of 'em laptop things", followed by "wow, you can watch movies on those", followed by "look Tom, it's one of 'em jumbo jets in front of us". Actually they were very nice, until half way through the flight one of them took out his duck calling whistle and blew into it, then someone from the back yelled encore, and then they lost it and started singing.

- On a flight into Detroit, I was in first class and sitting beside someone who introduced himself as Chauncey. We talked for most of the flight and I asked what he did for a living. He said he played basketball. So I looked him up when I got into the hotel that night. It was Chauncey Billups of the Pistons. I don't follow basketball, so had no idea.

- On a flight from Denver to Baltimore, I was sitting beside a small girl traveling alone. She was holding a teddy bear and was 8 years old. It was Christmas so I asked her if she made a list of what she wanted for the holidays. She told me she doesn't need to make a list because she knows what she wants. So I asked her what it was and she looked me in the eyes and said "cash".

- On a flight into Buffalo, we got put into a holding pattern before landing. After what seemed like a good half hour, the captain came over the intercom and said "sorry folks we are troubleshooting something here in the cockpit and determined we will need to reboot the computers". Not the type of thing you want to hear when in the air. Also, at least it's a good thing they don't run on a Windows platform.

- On a final approach into Toronto, the plane pulled up much more violently than normal. The captain got on the intercom and said "apologies, I just missed the runway". Nothing like some honesty.

- Finally, when boarding a flight back home from Dulles, the captain was standing watching everyone walk on-board. I was wearing headphones and he stopped me to tell me I missed his flight last week. More words I don't want to hear ...

Favorite domestic airlines starting with best: Virgin America, Midwest Express, Jet Blue

Favorite international airlines: Singapore

Airlines used most often: United and Southwest, for their sense of humor (many stories here alone, for example on one flight, the flight attendant noticed an over-sized carry-on sticking out of the overhead ... so she loudly got everyone's attention, the plane fell silent and she asked whose bag that was ... a man in a middle seat slowly put up his hand ... she looked at him and said "sir, what the hell were you thinking" ... that's customer service. Then another flight one asked if anyone wanted peanuts. He then took a bunch and said "you want peanuts, I'll give you peanuts" and started throwing them at people fiercely, everyone ducking).

Most fun domestic airport for take offs: SNA (John Wayne), because need to get plane to full throttle with brakes on, climb at twice the normal angle, cut engine power at 1000 feet, then coast over a ravine which has microphones on the ground to measure noise, then fire up the engines over the pacific again ... the reason: as one captain put it, "there's an endangered species living on the Newport Beach coast, the super rich of Orange County, so we have to be quiet".

Final tip, if you fly United, you can listen to ATC over channel 9 ... Boston has the most entertaining controller who works approach called "Boston John". He's the one that hands off pilots to the next frequency with "Hasta La Vista Baby".

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2012 07:55PM by mohave.

A man smelling the planes?

Rick1622October 18, 2012 01:26PM

Re: A man smelling the planes?

mohave1424October 18, 2012 07:26PM

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