Sunday, August 27, 2006

I'm flying for the next 7 days straight, so tonight it's all about the laundry. I pack pretty light - a pair of underwear and socks for each day, then 2 more spare ones, a couple of pairs of pants, and a few shirts. Some deodorant and my fang brush, and I'm set. Packing for flights was always kind of a pain until a few years ago, when I was visiting my mom in BC. I took a floatplane from Vancouver to Nanaimo and when I disembarked at Nanaimo, one of the owners of the floatplane told us her secret to packing - she rolls all her clothes rather than folding them. It actually works, you don't get fold lines on your shirts and pants when you unpack them. Feel free to check it out yourself, and if it works for you then maybe send me five bucks or something.

I have been watching the news today about the Comair RJ that crashed in Kentucky this morning, killing 49 people and leaving the only survivor, the first officer, in critical condition. It appears they mistook the proper runway for one that was half the length, and went off the end of the short runway at high speed, then crashed and burned. What can I say except I hope that's not the case; it would be such a senseless waste of life if it were. Most pre-takeoff checklists in aircraft have an item that goes something like this "When on runway, check heading". Barring a mechanical failure of the airplane's heading indicators, the crew should have noticed that their heading indicator was 40 degrees from where it should be. Maybe the control tower should have seen them start to take off on the wrong runway in time to get them to reject the takeoff. The runway layout at Bluegrass in Kentucky is a confusing one, and it there have been previous incidents where crews nearly took off on the wrong one. Other reoprts indicate the crew was on a stand-up duty day, which means they started their duty day the previous night, flew to Kentucky, then spent a few hours in a hotel while continuing to be technically on duty, then were about to fly home to finish off their day. Long story short: if that was the case, then fatigue might have been a factor. Again, it's links in the chain. Fatigue, not noticing the runway heading, the tower not paying attention, the confusing layout of the airport; there are 4 right there. Anyway, my heart goes out to the loved ones of the people involved in the accident, it's an awful situation.

The dryer just buzzed so I'm off to bed now; I have a 4:30am alarm for a 5:30am duty day start. Tomorrow it's Atlanta GA, then Panama City FL, then somewhere in Mississippi, then somewhere in North Carolina. If everything goes according to plan, we should be done the first day in 14 hours and 50 minutes, so I'm really hoping the plane and the weather are kind tomorrow, otherwise I'll end up stuck in Mississippi or Georgia, or heaven forbid, Florida. I don't know what it is, but Florida seems to be where IQ's go to die, and I need all the remaining IQ points I have.


david said...

Yes, the clothes-rolling thing works extremely, but unfortunately, you won't be getting $5 -- I learned about it in an advice column/ad from Harry Rosen (the expensive men's clothing place) when I lived in Toronto during the late 1980's.

Flying in a single-engine plane has been good for my family: everyone is able to pack enough for a week in a single, 8-12 lb bag (except for me, since I also have the flight bag).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I knew that one too smarty pants. ;) But I will be honest, I had forgotten!!! So I had better get rolling my overnight bag for if I ever fly...grrrrrrr.