The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… Killer Trolley-Dollies

The other day, Your Humble Scribe heard something that made him drop his cigarette in his lap. It seems a plane made a crash-landing and everyone survived the impact. But then, a dopey stewardess grabbed her mic and told everyone to REMAIN SEATED – and she later got a COMMENDATION for her performance during the emergency.

Now, here is a FACT: the passengers who DIE when a plane crash-lands – are the dummies who SIT THERE, waiting to be TOLD WHAT TO DO.

If THIS writer had been on that plane, he would have been at the nearest EXIT by the time it slithered to a halt – and half-way down the emergency chute before the idiot trolley-dolly had opened her mouth. And anyone attempting to stop him would now be missing TEETH.

So listen: should YOU be lucky enough to survive a crash – do NOT just sit there. Put at least five hundred yards between you and the plane IMMEDIATELY.

As any airman will tell you: if you walk (or better yet, run) away from it – it’s a LANDING!


6 Responses to “Damien on… Killer Trolley-Dollies”

  1. I agree with all you say but I would need to know

    a) what time duration lapsed betwixt her ordering “stay seated” and her ordering “evacuate” (if she did) and

    b) what she did in that time slot -was it open the door and deploy the chute?

    An issue raised in my mind by watching the British Airways crew last time I flew (2008) is whether the flight deck have to release all door locks before the cabin crew can do so.

  2. I’m not sure about (a) – I assume an order to evacuate came from the cockpit, in case any staff member was STUPID enough not to have already given it. As for (b) – I assume she just SAT there, like George Wan… sorry, WaLker Bush – when he heard that “Nine/Eleven” had begun.

    The documentary which showed the events did so in the form of one of those awful “reconstructions” – so must be suspect. However, her call to everybody to just SIT there was on the plane’s voice-recorder record – and since the records were made public, the best they could do was keep quiet about her ginormous faux pas and hope no-one NOTICED.

    I DID – but then again, who reads MY rubbish?!

    The issue of the door locks is an interesting one. I have to admit that when I was unfortunate enough to have to fly commercial, I always claimed to have trouble with my long legs, in order to try to glom a front seat (WAY more leg-room). These are right next to the doors – and I occasionally wondered what would happen if some nut-job grabbed the release handle and yanked it, before anyone could stop them.

    Of course, the passengers would NOT all get sucked out of the door like Auric Goldfinger – that’s a piece of movie nonsense. Such an action would merely trigger the overhead emergency oxygen masks – and the pilot would have plenty of time to drop to a lower altitude where the air would be breathable.

    And while it is possible the people sitting ADJACENT to the door could get pulled out, I always used to wear my seatbelt, tied loosely, during the flight – in case we hit a sudden piece of major turbulance. A LOOSE seatbelt STILL stops you hitting the roof and cracking your head open (it happens, albeit rarely).

    But now you have raised the question, CAN the doors be released at ANY time, simply by hitting the emergency door release? Of course, it would be SAFER if they had to be enabled from the flight deck (it would preclude that nut-job from causing a major incident) but what if, in a crash, the flight crew were disabled?

    I mean, they sit up FRONT and the real-life crash I referred to in my story, “A Year To Remember” (to be found in my bogroll, top right) involved a plane crashing into a WALL, where most of the passengers survived – but the front of the plane was PANCAKED.

    Thus if the door releases required enabling from the cockpit, everyone would have been SCREWED.

    So I can only assume the doors work independently and can be opened at any time. And since the aircraft is pressurised, if said nut-job DID manage to slam the lever down before anyone stopped them, the door would POP OFF like a Champagne cork.

    So that’s yet ANOTHER reason I’ll be quite happy if I NEVER AGAIN have to strap on an aeroplane!

    UPDATE! I have checked – and it turns out my fears were unfounded. Aircraft doors open INWARD – thus, once they gain altitude, the pressure differential keeps them CLOSED, rather than making them POP OFF!!

    However, while they are climbing or descending – and are still LOW enough for that pressure differential to NOT be sufficient to prevent our nut-job to do their thing…

  3. I wonder if there is a mechanism incorporated into the door designed to ensure that lack of air pressure, outside, causes door releases to not work.

  4. Well, given the pressure differential keeps ’em closed at high altitude – and some airports are AT a high altitude – and any mechanism designed to prevent the doors being opened at the wrong time could be damaged in a CRASH – my guess is NO!!!

    Which means if I am ever unlucky enough to be forced to fly commercial again – and have to suffer the indignities of being stripped, probed and felt up by a bastard who won’t even buy me dinner first – and I manage to glom one of those seats by the doors with the afore-mentioned extra leg-room…

    …as we ascend and descend – I’ll be keeping a DAMN careful lookout for anyone approaching the DOOR!

  5. I forgot to mention before that the fact that the cabin staff ladies were acting simultaneously when I watched them secure the doors suggested to me that securing ONE door ONLY would not work; it had to be the pair. But I now see that sounds unlikely. It is more likely that they each have the responsibility to monitor the other in the operation.

  6. Fifteen days now on the countdown to my LA flight from LHR T3 and I am perfectly confident that we will arrive alive at LAX. But I will be perfectly content if we take a dive en route. This is the advantage of being 73 and believing that there is no afterlife – although I encourage all those who NEED an afterlife to opt for the natural phenomenon scientific spiritualism faith and be ready to have a few words with the ancestors. Do not let them get away with slagging you off when they made such a mega mess themselves. Be willing, if they are, to forgive and forget. Most important of all: insist, for your virtual reality welcome party, that they serve only the very best booze. These are the criteria to apply.

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