Monday, June 8, 2009


I've been following the news surrounding the Brazil wreck pretty closely. The whole thing kind of scares the hell out of me. Personally, I don't consider myself a nervous flier, but I'm not big on the whole "flying through a storm and the plane breaks apart and crashes into the sea" bit.

At first, when they were unable to find the wreckage, I started to get a little creative about what happens. Mostly, I figured that the whole thing was tied to some sort of ABC marketing ploy for the final season of Lost. I mean, I could see corporate America going this far for ratings. And Squirrel made a good point, with so much communication available to passengers, where were those random, tweets or texts that we hear so much about from the passengers.

Maybe, with the investigation still pending, those things haven't leaked yet, but I bet someone on the plane was like "Shit, this things going down, I better tell my Aunt Lou goodbye."

Humor, aside, its still a tragedy and those families are suffering. We all should keep that in mind.

But, I keep going back to plane safety, and yesterday, while we were dining with a friends, drinking Sangria, I couldn't help but think about all the times I got a little scared while flying. One time, while we were flying out of O'hare Airport, our initial departure was delayed.

Most of the time, I try to set next to the window, unless, Squirrel steals the seat. I like the view. I like to see all the little roads and homes and baseball fields from 20000 ft. They all look like little mini lego sets that high up. It's pretty awesome. Sorry, I digress. Back to the story, so I'm at O'hare, seating window side, right outside the wing. Captain comes on, tells everyone that we're gonna be a few more minutes before take off because the weather has been holding up the other planes and there's a big back log of flights leaving. Well, as I look out, I see three dudes dressed in greasy gray jumpsuits.

These dudes don't look like Aeronautical engineers, they look like the mechanics at Rama Wash & Lube. So they are out there, starring at the wing, I'm starring back. They're pointing at things. One has a wrench in his hand. The conversation seems heated. But, hey, we're just waiting for clearance right? Yeah, nothings wrong with the wing. Well, I was sooooooo wrong.

Obviously, these guys were working on something. They had a wrench. I'm cool with that. What I'm not cool with is what happens next. In my head the conversation between the Greaser's probably went like this...

"Yeah, Bob, we need to reattach that thingymajinger." Greaser A

"I've tried to tighten the bolts, but it's just not working." Greaser B

"Well, you better call the bossman, because we gotta get these suckers in the air." Greaser A

Now on the radio, Greaser B, "Hey bossman, I can't get the wing to attach. Maybe you should call Greg the engineer out here, he has extensive training in Aeronautical engineer and I only took a class at the local Y on luggage handling."

Bossman replies, "Hell now, Greg costs $50 dollars an hour, that's not happening, just do what you gotta do. Get creative."

Greaser B, "okay boss, we got it."

By now, the guys are walking away, and as I'm watching them, I'm thinking. "Good, they must of got everything fixed." I was wrong. So wrong.

In a few minutes, they reappeared with duct tape. Which they continued to apply to the wing, the wing of the 75-something taking me 20000 ft into the air on my way to Denver. I could see the twinkle in their eye. They had gotten creative.

Concluding this rambling story, the point I want to make is this, especially if there are any airplane mechanics reading, don't use duct tape on planes when the passengers can see you. It scares them and they'll pee in their pants a little. Just a little.

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