Airplane travel

A couple of exciting ‘firsts’ for me in a flight I took earlier today. My first long distance business class trip, and my first near-miss airline crash :).

The only thing I have to say about the business class experience is that for the first time in my life, I was able to sleep for 8 hours on a flight, and I think that alone is worth the ridiculous premium that you pay.

The near-crash was very cool. We took off about an hour late because apparently the pilot could not get one of the brakes on the wheels disengaged, and a mechanic had to come in and disengage them manually.

The flight itself was uneventful but when we landed at Frankfurt, the plane had a brief taxi – perhaps a few hundred meters before coming to a very rapid stop. The pilot came online and told us the problem with the brakes had recurred – one of them had engaged automatically, wasn’t disengaging, and what is more, during the short taxiing run, had overheated so much that it was almost on fire. Two huge fire engines rushed to the tarmac and started spraying water on the wheels.

The pilot was very cool throughout, and eventually they found the brakes completely unworkable, so the plane had to be towed to the terminal.

I was reminded of Flanders and Swann’s classic piece about flying, in their second album, ‘At the drop of another hat’. Flanders makes one joke after another about the perils of flying – about airport buses whizzing around London, he says ‘They must have had instructions to keep the statistics favorable’ – and finally ends with ‘As the old woman once said, if God had intended to fly, he wouldn’t have given us the railways’. And then launches into a song about the Railways, called ‘Slow Train’ (one of my favorites).

Advertisements

One thought on “Airplane travel

  1. […] been a while since I flew a non-budget airline (at least, not since that hair-raising business class to Europe) so it came as quite a pleasant surprise to actually get food on the plane. Granted, it is priced […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s