Monday, October 16, 2006

This is ZNS, which was one of the nicest MU-2's that Thunder Airlines operated.

Add a bit of photoshop glow to the pic and it comes out like this:

ZNS was the plane I was flying when this story occurred.

Let's call this story "His teeth skittered across the ramp like little red candies"

This was Summer 2003. A very nice middle-aged lady had a bleeding pancreas, and we were gonna take her from our home base to a larger centre so they could give her stitches or run it under the faucet or something. She was exceptionally sick so in addition to our medic we had a nurse from the hospital on board, and the woman's husband. The woman was calm, but the husband was distraught. He had all the physical signs of shock; he was sweating, distracted etc. I should have twigged when the hospital nurse told him she didn't think he was up to the flight, but he said he was fine. He stumbled as he got into the plane, and that should have been my second hint.

This was the first flight after an inspection, so naturally after we fired up, the plane went mechanical. In this case, the cabin heat was stuck on full high, which is a pretty noticeable snag. In fact, we only taxiied about a hundred feet toward the runway before turning around and heading back to the hangar. We were all soaked in sweat by the time we shut down and opened the door, and I felt really bad for our poor patient having to go through this extra hassle. The captain went inside to advise Medcom of our delay, and I hopped out the back and headed toward the hangar where a spare plane was, and asked the mechanics to tow it out so we could continue the trip with a fresh plane.

As I was walking with the good plane back toward our broken plane, I saw the husband exit the aircraft. The thing is, he didn't actually put his foot out in front of him, he kinda pitched out the door and fell forward onto the ramp, not even putting his arms out in front of him. The husband was a big boy, and he had built up a lot of momentum by the time he impaced the pavement, face-first.

That didn't just happen, did it? I'd better close my eyes and look again. I open them and yup, it was real. Man oh man. I knew our medic and nurse were responsible for the lady patient, so I ran inside and told our dispatcher what had happened, while the nearby mechanics ran to his side. Fortunately for us, another medic was also in the office, and he ran outside to help the husband also.

The dispatcher called an ambulance - usually they call us ;) - and I went outside to see what was going on. The husband's face was a mess, his mouth and nose had exploded, and he was complaining of chest pains. The ambulance (same ambulance that had dropped them off earlier) was there in less than 5 minutes, the husband was loaded into it and they departed for the local hospital, and hopefully a good plastic surgeon.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We loaded into the new plane and the MU-2 howled happily all the way to the big city. We put the lady and the nurse in the ambulance and went home. A couple of days later, I found 2 tooth fragments and an entire tooth on the ramp. Hey, finders keepers right? I put them under my pillow, but the tooth fairy must have taken the night off 'cause I got nothing for them the next morning, not even a quarter.

1 comment:

Aviatrix said...

You're practicing what I said about making the suspense more perilous by telling the ending first. And you're doing a good job.