Birth of A Beno

Aviation is an aggregation of millions of “benos”–the detritus of all lapses in procedure, attention and skill that cost money, time and lives. Each makes someone declare, “There’ll be no more of this!” -or- “There’ll be no more of that!”

When Doc‘s plane was just about to leave England…

The pause that depresses

777 vs. 320

So here’s a pic of the aftermath of the encounter between the United 777 I was going to fly from Heathrow to JFK last Wednesday, and the Air Jamaica plane that was the other party to the incident.

We were told that the tips of the two plane’s wings nicked each other somehow. From the looks of the picture, there wasn’t much wrong with the 777. The Air Jamaica plane, which appears to be an Airbus A320, seems to be missing the lower half of winglet (that little fin at the end of some wings). Hard to tell, though.

While I’m sure it caused lots of head-scratching (and worse) for the two airlines, for most passengers the cost was a night in a local hotel and other inconveniences — in my case, missing my AlwaysOn panel. Thanks to J.D. for filling in there.

Duty Above & Beyond

What Doc isn’t telling you is that United Airline’s insistence on total wingtip integrity cost him dearly. He had qualified for an upgrade to the 777’s Business class, and was settling into the lap of high-mileage luxury when some dumbass ran his plane into some other dumbass’s plane. After the plane change, he ends up in seat 43E next to a guy with altitude-related gas issues. Their new airplane took off 4 hours late, including 2 hours on the tarmac with the engines and A/C shut down.

Any aeronautical engineer would tell you that the pilot probably would not even be able to tell the wing tip had a ding in it. One thing’s certain: the severity of an imperfect wing tip varies inversely with the frequency of incoming mortar rounds.

11:45:07 PM    

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