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 25 Lou - STORIES (Read 677519 times)
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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1815 - Mar 7th, 2016 at 8:25pm
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Air France Says Au Revoir To The 747 With This Stunning Flyby




Air France gives final salute to the Boeing 747
Last month, Air France flew its final revenue flight with a 747 aircraft. The “Queen of the Skies” was first adorned in the Air France livery way back 1970. For over 45 years, Air France 747 jumbo jets criss crossed the world, flying thousands of passengers everyday. Back then, the 747 was the largest aircraft in the world. It represented a new era of luxury and convenience.

http://www.avgeekery.com/air-france-says-au-revoir-747-stunning-flyby/


  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1816 - Mar 10th, 2016 at 10:06pm
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Something I have said HERE and other places for years.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richie-davidson/how-airline-pilots-lost-the-basic-...
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1817 - Mar 11th, 2016 at 12:14am
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That is both very sad, and very worrying! Sad
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1818 - Mar 11th, 2016 at 4:25pm
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Yes it is both sad and worrying...that's apparently how you take a perfectly good 777 and drive it into a sea wall...

This has been a known issue for some time (check the date on the presentation) and there really doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN41LvuSz10
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1819 - Mar 25th, 2016 at 3:34pm
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The Most Honored Photograph



Doesn’t look like much, does it? But, depending upon your definition, this photograph, a team effort by 9 men, is the most honored picture in U. S. History.

If you want to find out about it, read on.

It’s an interesting tale about how people sometimes rise beyond all expectations.

It takes place in the early days of World War II, in the South Pacific, and if you’re a World War II history buff, you may already know about it.

The Screwed Up Pilot

First, let’s get this out of the way. Jay Zeamer wasn’t a photographer by trade. He was mostly a wanna-be pilot. He looked good on paper, having graduated with a degree in civil engineering from MIT, joining the Army Air Corps, and receiving his wings in March, 1941. He was a B-26 bomber co-pilot when World War II started.

His classmates all rapidly became lead pilots and squadron leaders, but not Jay. He couldn’t pass the pilot check tests despite trying numerous times. He was a good pilot, but just couldn’t seem to land the B-26. Landing, from what I’ve read, was considered one of the more important qualifications for a pilot. Stuck as a co-pilot while his classmates and then those from the classes behind him were promoted, he got bored and lost all motivation.

Things came to a head when co-pilot Zeamer fell asleep while his plane was in flight. Not just in flight, but in flight through heavy anti-aircraft fire during a bombing run. He only woke when the pilot beat him on the chest because he   needed help. His squadron commander had him transferred to a B-17 squadron in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea where he was allowed to fly as a fill-in navigator and occasionally as a co-pilot. He was well liked and popular — on the ground. But no one wanted to fly with him.

Zeamer finally managed to get into the pilot’s seat by volunteering for a photo-reconnaissance mission when the scheduled pilot became ill. The mission, an extremely dangerous one over the Japanese stronghold at Rabual, won Zeamer a Silver Star – despite the fact that he still hadn’t qualified to pilot a B-17.

The Eager Beavers

Zeamer become the Operations Officer (a ground position) at the 43rd Air Group. Despite his lack of qualification, he still managed to fly as a B-17 fill-in pilot fairly often. He had found that he loved to fly B-17s on photo-reconnaissance missions, and he wanted to do it full-time. There were only three things standing in his way: he didn’t have a crew, he didn’t have an airplane, and oh, yeah, he still wasn’t a qualified pilot.

He solved the first problem by gravitating to every misfit and ne’er-do-well in the 43rd Air Group. As another pilot, Walt Krell, recalled, “He recruited a crew of renegades and screwoffs. They were the worst — men nobody else wanted. But they gravitated toward one another and made a hell of a team.”

The plane came later. An old, beat-up B-17, serial number 41-2666, that had seen better days was flown into their field to be scavenged for spare parts. Captain Zeamer had other ideas. He and his crew decided to rebuild the plane in their spare time since they weren’t going to get to fly any other way. Exactly how they managed to accomplish their task is the subject of some debate. Remember, there were so few spare parts available that their ‘plane’ was actually brought in originally to be a parts donor.

But rebuild it they did. Once it was in flying shape the base commander congratulated them and said he’d find a new crew to fly it. Not surprisingly, Zeamer and his crew took exception to this idea, and according to Walt Krell the crew slept in their airplane, having loudly announced that the 50 caliber machine guns were kept loaded in case anyone came around to ‘borrow’ it. There was a severe shortage of planes, so the base commander ignored the  mutiny and let the crew fly – but generally expected them to take on missions that no one else wanted.

The misfit crew thrived on it. They hung around the base operations center, volunteering for every mission no one else wanted. That earned them the nickname The Eager Beavers, and their patched up B-17 was called Old 666.

Once they started flying their plane on difficult photo-reconnaissance missions, they made some modifications. Even among the men of a combat air station, the Eager Beavers became known as gun nuts. They replaced all of the light 30 caliber machine guns in the plane with heavier 50 caliber weapons. Then the 50 caliber machine guns were replaced with double 50 caliber guns. Zeamer had another pair of machine guns mounted to the front of the plane so he could remotely fire them like a fighter pilot. And the crew kept extra machine guns stored in the plane, just in case one of their other guns jammed or malfunctioned.

As odd as all this sounds, the South Pacific theater in the early days of World War II was a chaotic area scattered over thousands of miles with very little equipment. Having a plane with an apparently nutty crew who volunteered for every awful mission not surprisingly made the commanding officers look the other way.

Buka

In June, 1943, the U. S. had secured Guadalcanal in the southern Solomon Islands. They knew the Japanese had a huge base at Rabual, but were certain there were other airfields being built in the Northern Solomon Islands. They asked for a volunteer crew to take photographs of Bougainville Island to plan for an eventual invasion, and of Buka airfield on the north side of the island to assess for increased activity there. It was considered a near-suicide mission — flying hundreds of miles over enemy airspace in a single, slow bomber. Not to mention photo-reconnaissance meant staying in level flight and taking no evasive action even if they were attacked.

The only crew that volunteered, of course, was Jay Zeamer and the Eager Beavers. One of the crew, bombardier Joseph Sarnovski, had absolutely no reason to volunteer. He’d already been in combat for 18 months and was scheduled to go home in 3 days. Being a photo mission, there was no need for a bombardier. But if his friends were going, he wanted to go, and one of the bombardier’s battle stations was to man the forward machine guns. They might need him, so he went.

They suspected the airstrip at Buka had been expanded and reinforced, but weren’t sure until they got close. As soon as the airfield came in sight, they saw numerous fighters taking off and heading their way. The logical thing to do would have been to turn right and head for home. They would be able to tell the intelligence officers about the increased number of planes at Buka even if they didn’t get photos.

But Zeamer and photographer William Kendrick knew that photos would be invaluable for subsequent planes attacking the base, and for Marines who were planning to invade the island later. Zeamer held the plane level (tilting the wings even one degree at that altitude could put the photograph half a mile off target) and Kendrick took his photos, which gave plenty of time for over 20 enemy fighters to get up to the altitude Old 666 was flying at.

The fighter group, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Yoshio Ooki, was experienced and professional. They carefully set up their attack, forming a semi-circle all around the B-17 and then attacking from all directions at once. Ooki didn’t know about the extra weapons the Eager Beavers had mounted to their plane, but it wouldn’t matter if he had; there was no way for a single B-17 to survive those odds.



During the first fighter pass the plane was hit by hundreds of machine gun bullets and cannon shells. Five crewman of the B-17 were wounded and the plane badly damaged. All of the wounded men stayed at their stations and were still firing when the fighters came in for a second pass, which caused just as the first. Hydraulic cables were cut, holes the size of footballs appeared in the wings, and the front Plexiglas canopy of the plane was shattered.

Zeamer was wounded during the second fighter pass, but kept the plane flying level and took no evasive action until Kendrick called over the intercom that the photography was completed. Only then did he begin to move the plane from side-to-side allowing his gunners better shots, just as the fighters came in for a third wave of attacks. The third pass blew out the oxygen system of the plane, which was flying at 28,000 feet. Despite the obvious structural damage Zeamer put the plane in an emergency dive to get down to a level where there was enough oxygen for them men to survive.

During the dive, a 20mm cannon shell exploded in the navigator’s compartment. Sarnoski, who was already wounded, was blown out of his compartment and beneath the cockpit. Another crewman reached him and saw there was a huge wound in his side. Despite his obviously mortal wound, Sarnoski said, “Don’t worry about me, I’m all right” and crawled back to his gun which was now exposed to 300 mile an hour winds since the Plexiglas front of the plane was now gone. He shot down one more fighter before he died a minute or two later.

The battle continued for over 40 minutes. The Eager Beavers shot down several fighters and heavily damaged several others. The B-17 was so heavily damaged, however, that they didn’t expect to make the several hundred miles long flight back home. Sarnoski had already died from his wounds. Zeamer had continued piloting the plane despite multiple wounds. Five other men were seriously wounded.

Flight Officer Ooki’s squadron returned to Buka out of ammunition and fuel. They understandably reported the B-17 was destroyed and about to crash in the ocean when they last saw it.

The B-17 didn’t quite crash, though. Zeamer had lost consciousness from loss of blood, but regained it when he was removed from the pilot seat and lay on the floor of the plane. The copilot, Lt. Britton, was the most qualified to care for the wounded and was needed in the back of the plane. One of the gunners, Sergeant Able, had liked to sit in the cockpit behind the pilots and watch them fly. That made him the most qualified of the crewman, so he flew the plane with Zeamer advising him from the floor while Britton cared for the wounded.

The plane made it back to base. (Britton did return to the cockpit for the landing.) After the landing, the medical triage team had Zeamer removed from the plane last, because they considered his wounds mortal. Amazingly, the one thing on the plane not damaged were the cameras and the photos in them were considered invaluable in planning the invasion of Bougainville.



Epilogue

All of the wounded men recovered, although it was a close thing for Captain Zeamer. In fact, a death notification was sent to his parents somewhat prematurely. He spent the next year in hospitals recovering from his wounds, but lived a long and happy life, passing away at age 88.


The Eager Beavers: (Back Row) Bud Thues, Zeamer, Hank Dominski, Sarnoski (Front Row) Vaughn, Kendrick, Able, Pugh.


Both Zeamer and Sarnovski were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the mission, the only time in World War II that two men from one plane ever received America’s highest medal for valor in combat. The other members of the crew were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor as an award for bravery.

So, somewhat surprisingly, the most decorated combat flight in U. S. history didn’t take place in a major battle. It was a photo-reconnaissance flight; the flight of ‘old 666′ in June of 1943.

Author: Roger Cicala
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1820 - Mar 27th, 2016 at 4:53pm
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Oh my goodness, what an amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing Lou!!

I'm adding that picture to my file of B-17s that made it home with a ridiculous amount of damage Shocked
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1821 - Apr 22nd, 2016 at 4:25am
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Very impressive. That crew deserved every award they got, and probably more.
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1822 - May 22nd, 2016 at 6:50pm
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A while back on this thread (#1216 Pg. 82) I made reference to this event... Now, check out this book about the event that is about to be released.

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew’s actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew’s efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey “Hoot” Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot’s decade-long battle to clear his name.



Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption
by Emilio Corsetti III

Emilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. His work has appeared in both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. 

http://www.emiliocorsetti.com/
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1823 - Aug 15th, 2016 at 6:01pm
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This is a good read about 777 crash...

Emirates B777 crash was accident waiting to happen

The crash of an Emirates B777 during an attempted go-around in Dubai last Wednesday was always an accident waiting to happen.

It was not the fault of the pilots, the airline or Boeing, because this accident could have happened to any pilot in any airline flying any modern glass cockpit airliner — Airbus, Boeing or Bombardier — or a large corporate jet with autothrottle.

It is the result of the imperfect interaction of the pilots with supposedly failsafe automatics, which pilots are rigorously trained to trust, which in this case failed them.

First, let us be clear about the effect of hot weather on the day. All twin-engine jet aircraft are certified at maximum takeoff weight to climb away on one engine after engine failure on takeoff at the maximum flight envelope operating temperature — 50 degrees C in the case of a B777 — to reach a regulatory climb gradient minimum of 2.4 per cent.

The Emirates B777-300 was operating on two engines and at a lower landing weight, so climb performance should not have been a problem. I have operated for years out of Dubai in summer, where the temperature is often in the high 40s, in both widebody Airbus and Boeing B777 aircraft.

Secondly, a pilot colleague observed exactly what happened as he was there, waiting in his aircraft to cross runway 12L. The B777 bounced and began a go-around. The aircraft reached about 150 feet (45 metres) with its landing gear retracting, then began to sink to the runway.

This suggests that the pilots had initiated a go-around as they had been trained to do and had practised hundreds of times in simulators, but the engines failed to respond in time to the pilot-commanded thrust. Why?

Bounces are not uncommon. They happen to all pilots occasionally. What was different with the Emirates B777 bounce was that the pilot elected to go around. This should not have been a problem as pilots are trained to apply power, pitch up (raise the nose) and climb away. However pilots are not really trained for go-arounds after a bounce; we practise go-arounds from a low approach attitude.

Modern jets have autothrottles as part of the autoflight system. They have small TOGA (take off/go-around) switches on the throttle levers they click to command autothrottles to control the engines, to deliver the required thrust. Pilots do not physically push up the levers by themselves but trust the autothrottles to do that, although it is common to rest your hand on the top of the levers. So, on a go-around, all the pilot does is click the TOGA switches, pull back on the control column to raise the nose and — when the other pilot, after observing positive climb, announces it — calls “gear up” and away we go!

But in the Dubai case, because the wheels had touched the runway, the landing gear sensors told the autoflight system computers that the aircraft was landed. So when the pilot clicked TOGA, the computers — without him initially realising it — inhibited TOGA as part of their design protocols and refused to spool up the engines as the pilot commanded.

Imagine the situation. One pilot, exactly as he has been trained, clicks TOGA and concentrates momentarily on his pilot’s flying display (PFD) to raise the nose of the aircraft to the required go-around attitude — not realising his command for TOGA thrust has been ignored. The other pilot is concentrating on his PFD altimeter to confirm that the aircraft is climbing due to the aircraft momentum. Both suddenly realise the engines are still at idle, as they had been since the autothrottles retarded them at approximately 30 feet during the landing flare. There is a shock of realisation and frantic manual pushing of levers to override the autothrottle pressure.

But too late. The big engines take seconds to deliver the required thrust before and before that is achieved the aircraft sinks to the runway.

It could have happened to any pilot caught out by an unusual, time-critical event, for which rigorous simulator training had not prepared him.

Automation problems leading to pilot confusion are not uncommon; but the designers of the autoflight system protocols should have anticipated this one. Perhaps an audible warning like “manual override required” to alert the pilots immediately of the “automation disconnect”.

My feeling is the pilots were deceived initially by the autothrottle refusal to spool up the engines, due to the landing inhibits, and a very high standard of simulator training by which pilots are almost brainwashed to totally rely on the automatics as the correct thing.



Byron Bailey is a commercial pilot with more than 45 years’ experience and 26,000 flying hours, and a former RAAF fighter pilot. He was a senior captain with Emirates for 15 years.
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1824 - Aug 19th, 2016 at 2:17pm
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Swissair A-340 - Great video of total crew coordination.

It doesn’t matter what airplane you fly or how many engines you have, losing an engine as a pilot or a passenger is always a harrowing ordeal.  Fortunately, losing an engine in flight is a fairly rare occurrence.  The Airbus A-340 is powered by four Trent 500 engines providing 56,000 lbs of thrust each.  When one fails, there are three other ones to take up the slack.  However, certain systems are degraded.

In the video, you’ll see that certain galley electrical loads are shed.  With the loss of a generator, the aircraft prioritizes the available power in order to ensure that critical systems are powered.  In this case, coffee makers are less important than flight instruments and other systems.

http://loungtastic.com/2016/08/19/2014729this-plane-lost-an-engine-with-cameras-...
  

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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1825 - Nov 15th, 2016 at 7:48pm
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This will surely interest LOU and all 727 fans  Smiley :
727 Landing in St.Moritz-SAMEDAN (alt 6000 ft) with high mountains all around.
"Probably the WORST piloting of a 727 I have ever seen."  Smiley
Nowadays you need special qualification for Samedan.
Bad quality video, but impressive !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js4WQd7XSs8

For  comparison a "normal" approach to Samedan with a Falcon jet. You see how close the mountains are !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjAgdtC0rsM
  
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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1826 - Nov 26th, 2016 at 5:11pm
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Guy,

The 727 is a very maneuverable aircraft. I have no idea why they seem to be having so much trouble with the approach. Since the valley is very long in both directions a smooth decent in VFR could be made without setting off the GPWS.

Yes, the runway is a bit short at just under 6,000 feet, but even at that elevation it should not be that hard to land a 727-100.

I just flew an approach an both directions starting from 15,000 and did not set off the GPWS. In order to keep the turn radius small the speed must be kept slow.

Lou

http://imgur.com/a/xpDJ3
  

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Reply #1827 - Nov 27th, 2016 at 11:18am
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Hi Lou,

Yes, the normal approach following the valley is not really difficult.
I think they didn't know the site and also had done no preparation. So they did an overfly to see what it looked like and decided then to go for a 360° diving approach between the mountains!
You can say "GREAT piloting"  but  you can also say "careless and DANGEROUS piloting".Probably both are right.   Smiley

There are business jets of all sizes including 737 BBJ landing in Lszs. The 727 here landed on Rw03.
In 2010 a Hawker jet did about the same thing for RW21. They arrived too high, did a 360 circuit, banked too much , stalled and CRASHED.  Sad

After this accident authorities made a theoretical study and a QUALIFICATION flight MANDATORY.
Circuits or 360° are permitted only for Cat A aircraft.
For Cat B and higher in case of missed appropach you have to  re-fly the entire 10 miles final.

For those interested : the "familiarization briefing" :
http://www.engadin-airport.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/SMV_PILOT_BRIEFING_LSZS_FINA...

Guy
  
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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1828 - Mar 13th, 2017 at 7:53pm
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Having logged thousands of hours in the 727 as a pilot and flight engineer and also being a flight instructor in both the simulator and the real plane, this story made me laugh out loud. The 727 was truly a fun plane to fly but as the saying goes...Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.  Huh


Making Babies Puke In A 727
by Wayne Boyd

Captain Don Brown was involved in the Air Line Pilot’s Association (ALPA) many years during his career at TWA, spending much of that time as a member of ALPA’s System Grievance Board. Now that I think of it, membership on that board might have contributed to his very dry sense of humor. He wasn’t opposed to a bit of levity now and then, but something needed to be genuinely amusing before he’d laugh! Like most TWA captains, he shared flying duties with his co-pilots.

Please permit a moment of digression here. Among pilots who flew that aircraft frequently, the 727 acquired the nickname of “Miss Piggy,” and deservedly so! In thousands of hours in 727, I’ve seen some excellent pilots fly the machine, but only a precious few seemed immune to Miss Piggy’s revenge – the firm landing.

How bad can this landing be?

Captain Brown gave me the leg into St. Louis that day, and I flew the approach to 30R carefully, planning a good landing. The airspeed was exactly where it should be, the power settings were stabilized, there was little or no crosswind to correct for… the airplane was poised just inches above the runway centerline, in the touchdown zone! All that remained was to gently spool down the three engines, while waiting for the coming “greaser.”

After what seemed like an eternity, the 727 smacked the ground with a resounding thud. Immediately my mind pictured an ant struggling to remain afoot on a freshly stuck tuning fork: boooiiiinnnnggg! Miss Piggy had logged another pilot humiliation.

The firm landing didn’t knock any electrical generators offline or drop any oxygen masks, but the sudden silence it created in the cockpit was profound. Having landed on the outboard runway, each crew member focused on the busy-work of completing the after-landing checklist and getting safely into the parking area – carefully avoiding the urge to comment on the touchdown.

For me, the landing began an ego-reduction process. By the time Captain Brown parked the brakes at the gate it had shrunk to minuscule proportions, with additional shrinkage likely. While the engines whined down we completed the secure cockpit checklist. The Flight Engineer followed his usual practice of opening the cockpit door and telling the passengers goodbye.

The business-like atmosphere of the cockpit was suddenly disrupted by a woman standing near the engineer’s chair, carrying a small infant underneath a blanket on her shoulder. Her appearance was not at all attractive, but someone must have seen otherwise – hence the infant! In an elevated, almost hostile-sounding voice she exclaimed, “That was a horrible landing… it was so bad it made my baby puke on me!” Having vented her spleen, she and the infant stormed out of the cockpit and disappeared up the jetway.

At that moment I glanced across the cockpit to see Don Brown slumped over his yoke in laughter, and my now nonexistent ego had retreated into the minus figures.

A cabin attendant overheard the cockpit conversation, and accurately identifying a need for some comic relief, she inquired, “Wayne, did you make that landing?”

“Yes,” I answered reluctantly (expecting salt to be poured into the wound).

She answered, “In my opinion the landing jarred the infant’s eyes, and they focused for the first time on the mother!”

Since that day, whenever our paths would cross somewhere in the TWA system, Captain Brown would sidle up to me and whisper, “Hey Wayne, have you made any babies puke today?” His appreciation for the unscripted humor in that story is well received. It has, as a matter of fact, become a treasured memory.
  

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Markoz
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Location: Victoria, Australia
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Re: Lou - STORIES
Reply #1829 - Mar 13th, 2017 at 11:36pm
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A very funny story Lou.  Grin Grin Grin Grin

Thanks for sharing it.
  

Mark Fletcher



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