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guitargirl40
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Posted on Wed, Aug 23, 2006 19:08

Okay, just want to know if this is crazy. Today, 5:00 a.m., flew to NY for mid day meetings; returned this evening on same airline/flight and to same gate. Have flown this many a time. NEVER however have I been told 'the captain needs a volunteer to move from a seat in the first three rows toward the back of the plane b/c there is a weight issue'!!!! I volunteered of course since everyone else sat there with the dead trout sucking air look. . . and b/c if the plane crashed it wouldnt be bc MY fat ass was in a the front of the plane making the nose cone dip down! What the heck? This is a large jet, only 3/4 full; most folks are without a lot of luggage (they sure as hell cant carry much on planes anymore as it is!). most travellers on this flight are like me and just literally flying up for a day of meetings - HOW ON EARTH COULD THEY NEED TO REDISTRIBUTE BY ONE PERSON'S BODY WEIGHT the ten or so feet to a different section. If its that precarious distribution that doesnt make me feel good . . . I havent been uncomfortable flying in a while but every time the plane banked to one side or the other, I found myself leaning into the turn (like when you ride a motorbike) just in case my weight wasnt redistributed enough . . . * * * Just want to say that I posted this on 8/23 and 4 days later there is an awful plane crash in Lexington (I live very nearby in Louisville, have flown in/out of there etc.) I am so sorry for all those folks and their families. I am sure whatever caused this will be determined and help make future flying even safer but it still makes me incredibly sad for all of those killed.


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southernstarr2006
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Posted on Mon, Sep 04, 2006 12:02

flyrr..In reading your comment on bad pilots...scary..I remember this pilot he was a (captain) he was always in this club drinking just a few hours before fight time...often he would leave quite drunk ....for awhile I would feel comfortable if the captain was more mature..distinguished looking..then after a while I began to feel more secure with a younger one...Flying is very scary..after all we are literally intrusting our lives to whom ever is flying the plane and to the mechanics of it all..we are totally beyond one's control..this feeling alone can be frightening. beyond one's control... mmm actually its the reason I never did drugs... Erica Anne@)--------


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southernstarr2006
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Posted on Sun, Sep 03, 2006 16:42

I have flown a lot..airplanes...biplanes ..small jets..helicopters...Its odd but flying terrifies me... I took my first fight at 7 I will never forget..the take of scary..but once we were above the clouds ..I lost my fear...I will never forget ...I remember the clouds..they were so white ..like huge amounts of cotton candy suspended in the air...I just knew there were angels hiding somewhere in the folds of those beautiful clouds... I have been on a jet that we all thought we were going to die on..It was a trip from Houston to New Orleans...brief 45 min..usually uneventful....this time it was in the evening..after dark..it was a trip of spontaneity ...we decided to go have dinner and party in N. O...It had been raining...it was dark more than dark that evening it was black..black as all get out ..outside..We were making the approach to set down...everything seemed ok...then all of the sudden we were lifting strait up..the nose was pointing almost vertically up towards the sky..it felt like one of those rides in an amusement park...the engines roared loudly drowning out the gasps of surprise and fear..we gained altitude and speed ..then leveled off...again the pilot made another approach...this time as we were coming in for a landing...it felt as if something hit and scraped the bottom of the jet...I thought it was the landing gear..but the Navy pilot next to me grabbed my hand .. he was white knuckled the blood had drained from his face..his eyes caught mine...and instead of finding comfort what I saw was sheer terror..he said we just hit something...Oh my gosh..we are going to die my brain screamed......we did the same as before the pilot pulled us strait up again...the pilot never said a word..It was so quite..it felt like I was sitting in a coffin...not a peep..but you could see the fear..feel it...it was thick..overwhelming..suffocating...I knew without any uncertainty that if anyone screamed..or made a sound..the whole plane full of people would have lost it there would be panic chaos ... We came around again....made another attempt this time we came all the way in ..the odd thing I remember is that when I looked outside .. there were no lights..not one..we touched the ground and taxied..there were still no visible lights..the first light I remember seeing was some light on the passenger unloading dock...the only thing said to us was thank you for flying..______ they opened the door and we left the plane..without ever knowing or without understanding ..what just happened...talking about the Twilight Zone...scary... I must admit I am terrified of flying but I fly a lot and have flown constantly throughout my life..I have never been one to let my fears control my life...You would never guess this if you were to meet me on the flight.. just ply me with a few drinky poos..a nice big comfortable leather seat...and I am good to go...Would you believe that wanted to be a flight attendant at one time..... know what?? I still look for those angels......wink

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Posted on Sun, Sep 03, 2006 15:45

angelgirl1480, it WAS pilot error most definitely. He tried to take off using the wrong runway. I didn't mean to blast you. just realize there will always be bad pilots, like there are bad teachers, and bad drivers.


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guitargirl40
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Posted on Sun, Sep 03, 2006 15:27

Thx for the explanation FLYRR - coming from the source/expert so to speak I feel reassured. I do think you guys do a great job and I know you dont want to get to heaven any faster than the rest of us. I actually am enjoying flying more now than I did a few years ago and someday expect I might even try and take some lessons. And wow Red, what a story! Here is a 'funny' (sort of) a friend of mine sent me today (and his brother is a pilot too): REASSURANCE FOR THOSE OF US WHO FLY ROUTINELY IN OUR JOBS. After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripesheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident. P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement. S: Almost replaced left inside main tire. P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough. S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft. P: Something loose in cockpit. S: Something tightened in cockpit. P: Dead bugs on windshield. S: Live bugs on back-order. P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent. S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground. P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. S: Evidence removed. P: DME volume unbelievably loud. S: DME volume set to more believable level. P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick. S: That's what friction locks are for. P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode. S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode. P: Suspected crack in windshield. S: Suspect you're right. P: Number 3 engine missing. S: Engine found on right wing after brief search. P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!) S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious. P: Target radar hums. S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics. P: Mouse in cockpit. S: Cat installed. And the best one for last.................. P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer. S: Removed midget with a hammer.


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reddiamond2000
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Posted on Wed, Aug 30, 2006 18:46

In response to your fear, I too have had those moments of fear while flying. My true understanding of fear came when a small plane had an engine blow up in midair. I have come to affectionately refer to these planes as cattlecar air. But, back to the story. The pilot calmly came on and explained that we would be making an emergency landing due to some technical difficulties. Those of us on the plane new it was more than just technical difficulties. I have to tell you that the plane came down smoothly and without incident. It wasn't until we were on the ground, that we could see that the engine was actually on fire. In that moment I realized that life is worth living to the fullest everyday. To fear and worry takes away precious moments from the days, hours, moments we have been blessed with. I fear no more because most of the pilots are able to land you no matter what the problem. If asked to move to change the weight distribution, I happily do so. I have complete faith that the instruments in front of that pilot tell him that it should be done. It has been asked of me many times. I live in the midwest and it seems the planes are rarely full when I come home. I don't think it actually means if I don't move the plane will fall out of the sky. I just think the pilot is trying to make the plane environment as close to perfect as he can. I hope these words have helped to soothe your fears. The pilots today are amazing. If you think about how many flights there actually are today, and how few crashes occur this in itself should make you less fearfull.


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myselfmoi
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Posted on Wed, Aug 30, 2006 16:48

I hate flying!!! I'll say it again, I hate flying!! I have a definite problem with it. I will fly if I have to. You remember the movie, 'French Kiss'? Remember Meg Ryan's problem with flying? She has nothing over me. At least she slept going to Europe. I can't. I keep looking at the stewardesses faces to see if there is any alarm on them whatsoever. I know it's stupid. If it were that bad, we wouldn't be able to walk outside without a plane falling out of the sky and crashing on top of us. Someday I'll figure out why I'm so paranoid about flying, but for now I'll take a train, or a boat, or a car, or a bicycle, or a scooter or a ......


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Posted on Wed, Aug 30, 2006 05:47

angelgirl1480 Do you have any idea what crap you just posted? Of course RJ pilots know what they are doing! I've been flying RJs for years. I have over 10,000 hours in RJs. Belive me girl, right now in this industry, with the furloughs and bankruptcy's, most of the line pilots are senior experienced guys and girls. Who do you think we hire to fly for us? I hope the public's idea of am RJ pilot is a little better than yours!


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Posted on Wed, Aug 30, 2006 05:40

I'm a pilot who flies one of those 50 seat jets. 9 times out of 10 the weight and balance is fine to take off. But now and then, if we have no bags, or if everybod decides to sit in the front, we have to move a few folks back to balance out the load. I know it seems a little Micky Mouse, and the aircraft will fly perfectly fine without the people moving. But if, god forbid, anything would happen. The FAA would hang us out to dry because the aircraft was technically out of balance. Regional Jets are as safe, if not safer than jumbo jets. They are as fast. They have lavs and flight attendants. We still have passengers complaining about the size (there's that size thing again). If I had a dollar for every "oh it's so small" I hear as passengers are boarding! But also if I had a dollar for every "that was a great flight" I hear as passengers are deplaning. Well...


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AndrewBrown
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Posted on Tue, Aug 29, 2006 21:19

The story I'm about to relate is 100% true. Nothing is exaggerated. First time I flew in a jet I was seven. The plane was a DC10. I flew with my family to Hawaii for a holiday. The flight there was fine. On the way home we were advised by the captain that Auckland was marginal due to weather. We circled for several hours - and were then advised that Auckland had closed. We didn't have gas to get to Sydney so we headed down to Wellington which is dodgy at the best of times. By the time we got close to Wellington we were told that it had closed too. The only other airport in NZ that had any chance of taking us was Christchurch in the South Island. You fly into Christchurch over the Southern Alps. It was so turbulent and the plane fell into such large air-pockets that the phone the purser spoke to the flight deck with (complete with a huge piece of interior panel) shattered apart. The large luggage/coat unit at the front of the cabin exploded onto the front row passengers and broke a passenger's arm. Then it started to get bad. There was an empty seat next to me. A young stewardess crawled from her seat up to my father and told him that she couldn't handle her "ironing board" seat anymore and could she sit in the spare seat. She then burst into uncontrolled sobs and screams. My father screamed at her to shut the @4%& up. Then he invited her to sit down. She continued to bawl remorselessly. I must have been in shock. I can remember thinking that if the stewardess was losing it - then something was badly wrong. We landed safely. The crew seemed to be the most relieved. We were only told then that it was the first time a DC10 had landed at Christchurch - and in the conditions that day no one had been all that sure how it would turn out. About six hours later Auckland had cleared and we were invited to return to the plane. At least half the passengers refused and found ulterior transport home. And that was my first flying experience. The next four were as bad - including a decompression. But one experience is enough today.


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sepelo7
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Posted on Tue, Aug 29, 2006 19:32

has happened to me on more than one occasion . . . common I do believe.


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guitargirl40
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Posted on Tue, Aug 29, 2006 18:55

Howdy Robtest - good to hear from you. Love the imagery of the cessna station wagon by the way . . .beats the 'Blue Bomb' that my folks crammed all SEVEN of us into for family trips - ugh! You know, about that plane crash in nearby Lexington. I think in a perverse way I am finding it reassuring the more the news comes out. Seems clear that this was a case of human error and the tecnology was performing perfectly. Go figure.


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robtest
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Posted on Tue, Aug 29, 2006 08:32

My father was a private pilot so growing up we had a Cessna station wagon. :o) Aerodynamics is a very exacting science and Dad was very concerned about what bags went in the front compartment vs. the rear cargo area. Just a few pounds here or there can change the angle that the plane flies at, and can dramatically change things like the gas consumption. Think of it sorta like when you are out skiing on the lake and you get in the front of the boat to help it plane out quicker. The crash of the small commuter plane was a horrible thing. Time will tell what the true story was, but they tried to take off on the runway that was too short for them to get up to speed. Not quite sure why, as the pilots reportedly had flown thru that airport several times.


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guitargirl40
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Posted on Thu, Aug 24, 2006 18:44

Thanks Puck for the veteran input (and btw, nice update on your caregpage today . . . glad to see you are picking up a bit!). I think you are probably right about the 'moment' thing - i remember once a pilot friend telling me that a 'happy plane is a full plane' - being the corporate lawyer/economically bent person, I assumed he meant b/c a full plane has sold all its seats (is profitable e.g.!) but I really think it must mean a full plane has all the weight in the right place maybe? Dont know. Will tell you that when I moved back to the mid section, I've never heard a creakier, groaning plane on takeoff . . . I swear it sounded like a rocking chair the whole mile or two as we hurtled down the runway. Ugh!!!!! P.S. Hey SteelM, share some scarey plane stories (just not before my next flight : )) or even better do a blog on scarey plane stories why dont you?! Much more fun to read your stuff on that then some of the scarey stuff (NEGATIVE stuff) other folks seem to dish these days!


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guitargirl40
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Posted on Thu, Aug 24, 2006 09:20

Home for lunch so having fun reading blogs midday . . . i appreciate the intelligent/consistent responses but its leaving me less assured than before -- if ONE PERSON'S WEIGHT could make that difference such that they have to move several seats for the plane to be sufficiently balanced. . . what happens if two folks get up at the same time and go back forward again to use the loo?! . . .and what if that moment there is a pocket of turbulence . . .eek, disaster, huh? I just cant help thinking if the balance depends that much on one body in a particular place/time, that is VERY PRECARIOUS! Oh well, I've always had trouble suspending my imagination while flying, guess I'll just have to have one of the strong drinks recommended by the Auckland fellow in another blog!


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CDinCO
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Posted on Thu, Aug 24, 2006 08:24

Actually, I did have that happen once and never found the real reason for it but I would venture to guess that it's because the cargo the plane is carrying is not evenly distributed so they have to shift the passengers because the don't have access below. Other than that, I throw up my hands in wonder.


Courtney :)

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