19 Jul 2014

And Then A Captain Announces….

If I was still an international jet-setting Roughneck, I’d be more than happy to hear an announcement from the flight-deck that went something like this;

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to this flight from where we just left bound for where we’re going.
We are now at our cruising altitude and this is the time I usually announce our estimated arrival time. Today will be slightly different so let me explain.
This Airline, with the agreement of International Ground Control, have, in their possibly misguided wisdom, routed our flight to overfly several global hotspots and even a couple of proper war zones which are, apparently, infested with utter nutters. Some are relatively harmless nutters seemingly armed only with video cameras and Internet access enabling them to post their scary ramblings on Facebook, YouTube and the likes. Sadly, a few others have access to some serious weaponry and
I’m sure most of you will have picked-up on recent news regarding various flying machines that have been knocked down by these bad boys. Some intentionally and some by mistake. No, really! By mistake!
This Airline has given me, as Captain, full responsibility for this flight and as such, my first absolute obligation, as Captain, is the safety of all on-board – I repeat - my first absolute obligation, as Captain, is the safety of all on-board  and secondly, to take care of this aircraft – hay, you know what one of these babies costs?
Now, I find I have two choices. I could sit back and stick to the designated hotspot flight path which could possibly have us flying over a couple of nutters who see us, turn to each other with one saying, ‘Ten says you can’t hit it.’ and the trigger guy saying, ‘Twenty says I can.’ and thus gives us up front some short-lived adrenalin pumping excitement, and you lot some short-lived grief, as we bob and weave, duck and dive, stall and throttle-up in a vain attempt to avoid a miss-guided missile.
However, I’m going with my second choice and, as Captain of this flight, with responsibility for the safety of all on-board,  I’m going to tell Ground Control and the Airline to file their original flight plan where the sun don’t shine and I’m going to route us round all the hotspots and war zones with as safe and timely flight track as possible.
Owing to the happy-go-lucky state of the world at present, and thus the alarmingly large number of hotspots, this route will add about two hours plus to our flight time but will improve
our chances of reaching our destination immeasurably.
I’m sorry I can’t give you a one hundred percent guarantee of a safe arrival because, as safe as these beauties are and, as unlikely as it may be, other stuff can happen.
I apologise in advance for our late arrival but feel sure you’ll all agree – better late than never.”

Quote;  Chuck Yeager.

“Most pilots learn, when they pin on their wings and go out and get in a fighter, especially, that one thing you don't do, you don't believe anything anybody tells you about an airplane.”

No comments: