Navigation & Music Control
 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #079 - 02/15/1998


Flying off with SUNFUN...

Greetings, Fellow Passengers!
     Travelling any distance these days usually involves
flying...  It's amazing to think how primitive air travel was
just 50 years ago.  Airplanes fly so many millions of miles a
year now, with very few incidents.  So why are so many people
still afraid to fly?  Probably because strapping yourself into a
large tin can and launching a few thousand feet in the air is
still a test of faith in technology.  But then, so are elevators.
     Thanks this week and free upgrades this week to our
contributors:  Timothy McChain, Peter Adler, Ellen Peterson,
Carol Becwar, Jerry Taff, Dale Frederickson and Cheong Chu-Ling. 
Ready for take-off?  Let's get to it!
     Have a great week!


     After every flight, military pilots fill out a "squawk
sheet" to tell the airplane mechanics anything that might have
gone wrong on the airplanes.  Of course, there is a friendly --
sometimes not so friendly -- rivalry between those who fly the
planes and the folks who fix them.  Here are some actual
maintenance complaints submitted by US Air Force pilots and the
replies from the maintenance crews:

   Problem:    "Left inside main tire almost needs replacement."
   Solution:   "Almost replaced left inside main tire."

   Problem:    "Test flight OK, except autoland very rough."
   Solution:   "Autoland not installed on this aircraft."

   Problem:    "#2 Propeller seeping prop fluid."
   Solution:   "#2 Propeller seepage normal."
               "#1,#3, and #4 propellers lack normal seepage."

   Problem:    "The autopilot doesn't."
   Signed off: "IT DOES NOW."

   Problem:    "Something loose in cockpit."
   Solution:   "Something tightened in cockpit."

   Problem:    "Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing
   Solution:   "Evidence removed."

   Problem:    "Number three engine missing."
   Solution:   "Engine found on right wing after brief search."

   Problem:    "DME volume unbelievably loud."
   Solution:   "Volume set to more believable level."

   Problem:    "Dead bugs on windshield."
   Solution:   "Live bugs on order."

   Problem:    "Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200
               fpm [feet per minute] descent."
   Solution:   "Cannot reproduce problem on ground."

   Problem:    "IFF inoperative."
   Solution:   "IFF inoperative in OFF mode."

   Problem:    "Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick."
   Solution:   "That's what they're there for."

                         Excerpted from "Bombardier Aerospace


     A former flight engineer ground engineer at the Melbourne,
Australia airport told about a time he was doing a pre-flight
inspection with a pilot from JAT (Yugoslavian Airlines). 
Normally, this just means walking around the airplane making sure
that everything is OK, but on this occasion, the engineer noted a
fuel leak from a wing tank and mentioned it to the pilot.
     "No worries," the pilot said nonchalantly.  "We get to
30,000 feet, she freeze up, no problem."


     Russian aircraft have a reputation for being a little crude
in design, but built like flying tanks.  That was proved again
recently in the village of Ust-Kyakhta near the border between
Russia and Mongolia, when a low-flying Mi-8 helicopter collided
with a fuel tank truck.  The Russian Defense Ministry is still
investigating the accident, which caused no serious injuries.
      "After the collision the crew commander inspected his
helicopter and decided to continue his flight," the Interfax news
agency reported.  "The [petrol tanker] was a complete write-off."



  Student Pilot:    "Jones tower, Cessna 12345, student pilot, I
                    am out of fuel."

  Tower Controller (his voice shifting into emergency mode):   
                    "Roger Cessna 12345, reduce airspeed to best  
                    glide!!  Do you have the airfield in

  Student Pilot:    "Uh...tower, I am sitting on the south ramp;
                    I just want to know where the fuel truck is."


     A frustrated air traffic controller was trying to raise the
pilot of flight USA 553...

      Controller:   "USA 353, contact Cleveland Center 135.6."


      Controller:   "USA 353, contact Cleveland Center 135.6!"


      Controller:   "USA 353, you're just like my wife!  You
                    never listen!"

      Pilot:        "Center, this is USA _5_53.  Maybe if you 
                    called her by the right name you'd get a
                    better response!"


     This hint on how to get more space when travelling is from
TheTrip.Com newsletter:

          "While sitting on a runway in Dallas in a
     thunderstorm, in a DC-10 jammed full of coughing
     people, I reflected that in addition to being in an
     open field in a tall metal object full of highly
     flammable fuel during a lightning storm, I was also
     doing something else my mama warned me not to do: 
     Sucking up other peoples' germs.  The people around me
     seem to have tuberculosis, pneumonic plague, and some
     variant of Ebola -- and this was only two rows.
          "So the next time I flew, I used a standard
     surgical mask.  Not that it will filter viruses, but in
     a plane you're more likely to  ingest flying
     microscopic blobs of mucus, which are effectively 
     stopped by such a mask, if those who remove our
     appendices are to  be believed.
          "Not only did this afford me protection against
     airborne macro-pathogens, but as an added side effect,
     nobody would sit next to me, even on a full plane.  I
     got to stretch out in four seats and nap; better than
     first class.
          "I've used this mask several times now, and only
     once has a flight attendant asked me to remove it. 
     'I'm not allowed to by law,' I explained, and THAT got
     me another whole row."


     Don't misbehave on Japan Airlines.  Airline management noted
an increase in attacks on flight attendants, so they've given
crews permission to tie up rowdy passengers.  The threat of such
severe action is supposed to cause the nastier passengers to back
down, though I suppose it's just possible some of them might look
forward to it...  (Reuters)


     Modern aircraft are designed to be stable and easy to fly. 
Just recently, there have a couple of examples of just how easy,
with planes that have flown themselves.
     Pilot Paul Sirks got the surprise of his life last November
when he got out to hand crank his Aeronica Champ.  When he pulled
the propeller to start the engine, the plane started taxiing
away, leaving him watching helplessly as the plane headed for the
sky.  The plane turned and buzzed the field once before heading
north for nearly 100 miles (50 km), finally crash landing in a
farm field when it ran out of fuel.
     And Pilot Rob Frayser was on board his plane at least, but
carbon monoxide poisoning from a malfunctioning exhaust system
had rendered him unconscious.  His Piper Comanche flew on to land
safely in a field in Moberly, Missouri.  Frayser was only
slightly injured, though the plane was damaged as it skidded into
some trees in the wheels-up landing.
     Asked if he would fly again, Frayser said: "I would fly
today if I had a plane. As soon as I settle with the insurance
company, I'll be back up there."   (AP / Reuters) 


     Last year, the president of Cambodia's chamber of commerce -
a guy named Teng Boonma -- became so frustrated over delayed
planes and lost luggage that he pulled out a gun and shot out a
tire on a parked jet.  Questioned about the incident, Boonma
said, "I know I was wrong to do that.  But I only regret that I
did not get to shoot the other three tires."  No word on whether
the blown tire delayed things even further.
          [ How'd you like to be waiting on standby
          with that guy! ]


     A man was really hassling an airline agent at the ticketing
counter, yelling and cursing. The agent was polite, pleasant and
smiled all through the man's complaints.
     When the man finally left, the next person in line asked the
agent, "Does that happen often?  How can you be so nice to
someone like that?"
     The agent just smiled and said, "It's easy. He's going to
Detroit.  His bags are going to Tokyo."

© 1998 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.