Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh God, the Pilot's On the Intercom and He Sounds Upset .....

Now, there is one thing you don't want to hear on an intercom over an airplane. That's when the pilot comes on and says, in that signature voice of resignation: "Well, folks ..."

But there is another thing you really, really don't want to hear the pilot say. And that is a pilot directly, personally invoking the Almighty -- whether it's, uh, something startling like "Allahu akbar!" or, in the case of this wing-nut co-pilot on a rampage on an Air Canada flight over the North Atlantic to England, "I need to talk to you God."

(Link is to the Evening Standard of London, via today's Drudge).

Now, in any rational world in this sort of horrifying in-flight situation, any heads-up Almighty would interrupt gently on the celestial intercom and say, "I hear you, Skippy, but please land the airplane first and then go find a church. They're all over the place. Then we'll talk. O.K.?"

Though there was quite a brawl, though passengers had to help restrain the fly-amok pilot while the sane pilot diverted the flight to Ireland, Air Canada PR man Peter Fitzpatrick said the following to the Evening Standard: "At no time were the safety of the passengers or crew in question." Fitzpatrick "refused to be drawn on whether the pilot had suffered a breakdown," the newspaper reported.

Dunno here, seems there was danger -- and breakdown seems to be the right word, unless this is how the fellow was trained to fly a plane and comport himself. He did end up in a psychiatric ward, you'll note. But maybe it was just for a flu shot.

Now let's see, Air Canada PR, Air Canada PR ...

Oh right! The same flack who declined to confirm or discuss whether sudden "air turbulence" sent passengers, carts and whatnot tumbling around on an Air Canada flight three weeks ago, causing 10 people to be hospitalized on landing. Even though passengers and crew said it was air turbulence --- and a perfect teaching opportunity to explain why those seemingly arbitrary "fasten your seat belts" the flight crews routinely make should always be followed, for safety.

I posted on that here on Jan. 10.

Meanwhile, pax domini sit semper vobiscum. And keep your seat belts on. Turbulence can occur when you least expect it, trust me.


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