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…
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.