I want to get all these out of my head before they disappear forever. Another story from my travels this summer.
I always remember as my planes prepare for take off the story in Jim Bouton's book "Ball Four" of the player who went through all kinds of gyrations, flipping switches, talking into a cup et cetera prior to take off. His explanation was that flying made him nervous and it made him feel better if he "flew" the plane himself.
What brought it to mind this time was flying on a plane with headsets that offered the cockpit radio chatter as one of the channels. I'm fascinated by how things work so I plugged right in to hear what went on (you get the pilots talking with the control tower and both sides of the conversation). Well I'm not sure that this is the kind of stuff they wanted us to hear! The conversation went something like this:
Pilot - United 2087 on runway 9 left prepared for take off
Tower - Uuuuuunited 20-87, you're headed for...where today?
P - destination is Denver today.
T - Really?
P - Yep got clearance and everything
T - Oh I'm sure you do, I just can't seem to find your paperwork anywhere
P - That so?
T - I'm sure it's here somewhere but I can't...Wait...OK! Now we're set United 20-87 you are cleared for runway 9 left, and you have a great day in Denver
P - United 20-87, thank you very much
I'm sure the folks around me were wondering what I was listening to that was making me smile and laugh so much. The conversation was all very casual and matter of fact. The pilot wasn't concerned and the tower was just a bit puzzled.
And one passenger sat back feeling very much refreshed and relaxed.