Thursday, February 18, 2016

The FAA needs Common Sense

            As I wrote on my last post, Lana and I recently went on a cruise to the Panama Canal, among other places. To get there, we had to fly from Indianapolis to Ft. Lauderdale to board the ship. I wrote the last post, about the cruise, on the flight home, but as we were waiting to pull away from the gate, I got the idea for this post.

            I have been around planes of all sorts all my life. My father was a pilot in the Air Force. We even owned a small plane for a few years when I was a kid. The point is, I LOVE to fly and have flown my fair share over the years. If you have read my posts for some time, you probably have a pretty good idea how my brain works by now, so as I sat there in my seat and watched them close the door and pull out all their crap for the preflight instructions, my eyes did a roll and my stomach a turn.

            We fly Southwest a lot because, well, I’m not sure why. Maybe because they tend to be on time the most, or maybe we can sit where we want, or maybe there are a lot more nonstop flights. Maybe it’s the pretzels and nuts. I don’t know. When we do fly them, we try to get the row where the emergency door is and there are only two seats. Much more room. No drunk neighbors or whiny kids. Of course the first thing that happens just as you sit down is a flight attendant scurries up and asks you, “In the event of an emergency, are you both willing to take charge of that door?”

            “Oh, absolutely.” Little does she know that is why we are on that aisle. In the event of an emergency, I want MY hands on that door first. Lana is going out the airplane first, then I will get as many people as I can out, but I will be as close to that wing as I can get. I may be weird, but I’m not stupid.

            Okay boys and girls, what is the first thing that all these highly trained flight attendants do in their preflight routines? What do they go over with us as the tug is pushing us away from the gate? Think hard. Yes, that’s right, the seat belt. They actually stand up there and teach us how to fasten a seat belt. Really? How do they suppose we got to the airport? How did THEY get to the airport? Think about it. I’ll wait for the answer. I’m humming the theme song for final Jeopardy while you think. Yes, that’s right, we all used our seat belts. Now then, if we could figure out the seat belts in our own cars, why are these clowns standing up there and explaining it to me on an airplane?

            I’ll tell you why. They have to. They are called the FAA. They make the rules and they are stupid and outdated. Some people think we have to protect every moron out there. I think we have laws in this country already in all states to wear seatbelts in our cars TO GET TO THE AIRPORT, and if you don’t know to fasten one by the time you board an airplane, then if we have “an event”, I will be content to watch you fly around the cabin like a deflating balloon rather than worry about the event.

            Next, the life vest. My personal favorite. They show you how to put it on, which in an emergency, most of the people won’t remember even where it was, let alone how to put it on.  Not that I ever want to be “in an event”, but I can’t imagine over 150 panicking passengers with inflated life vests on. A real Kodak moment.

            Here is my problem with the FAA and going through the life vest instructions. If we are flying from Indy to Ft. Lauderdale, I can see going through the instructions, but if we are flying from, say, Indy to Kansas City, why? The speech is always like this, “In the event of a water landing…” Okay, so between Indy and Kansas City, our brave pilot is going to set our plane down either on the Wabash River, the Mississippi River or the Missouri River or a large pond on Bob’s farm in rural Missouri. Really?

            I think we should push for some logic from the FAA to forgo the preflight instructions on certain flights. If we are not going to fly over water, then don’t show us how to use the life jackets. DUH!!! Save the flight attendants some time and let us get back to play Sudoku or let me look over the instructions on the emergency door. We all heard about the Miracle on the Hudson, but I doubt we will ever see the Miracle on Bob’s Pond.

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