I’m slowly learning that you like to read about funny airline stories. Here’s another one that goes way back…
You might recall my first airline job was flying the Saab 340 turboprop for a company based in the Northeast. My wife and I moved to Maine just for the job. The trips were all day trips. We flew the same four flights almost everyday: Bangor – Boston – Philadelphia – Boston – Bangor. I would drive to work, park my car at the hanger, fly, then drive home. The pay was below the poverty level, but in some ways, I didn’t realize how good I had it.
So, here’s the story from one of those trips:
It was a dark and stormy night in Philadelphia. (Really, it was… although, I must admit I just wanted to start a story with that sentence.) The winds were blowing 35-40 knots and it was raining sideways. The little Saab 340 bounced all the way down the final approach. Some very blue passengers disembarked the plane. We prepared to go back to Boston.
The flight attendant that night was a great guy we’ll call John. John was also a private pilot with dreams of someday moving up to the cockpit. He was very friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to help the passengers.
I was sitting in the cockpit while the passengers were boarding. As a passenger walked up the rain soaked stairs, he asked a question. It has been a long time, but I still remember the conversation as if it were yesterday.
Passenger: “Do you think it will make it up there?”
John: “Well, sir, these planes are certified by the FAA to fly in weather much worse than this… We made it in here safely, so I can assure you we will be able to fly out safely. You have nothing to worry about.”
Passenger: “Gee, thanks… but, I was talking about my bag fitting in the overhead.”