As a seasoned "Traveler" my greatest test of nerves came on a flight
aboard a Convair 580. The old bird (operated by then Republic Airlines)
fired up, smoked and then rambled down the runway and eventually lifted
off for a quick flight to Detroit. After feeling ( and hearing ) all
the strange noises that the convair made, it was at this point that I
was missing the familiar DC-9's that I flew aboard on a regular basis.
I was also regretting not taking my flight pill ( Tranquilizers).
At cruise I looked out my window and noticed a small puff of smoke coming
from the engine intermittently. When the Flight Attendant walked by, I
quietly told her to keep from starting a panic on the plane about this
phenomena that I was witnessing in the engine. She smiled at me and
said: "Oh that ..... Don't worry sir they do that all the time". She
obviously seen that my nerves were totally shot after that comment and
asked: "Sir, could I get you anything "?. My only response was in a
much louder tone: " Yea, you can get me a damn parachute and while your
at it ask the pilot to drop some altitude I'm scarred of heights".
I have never flown on a prop since then, and my ATP pilot buddies still
get a kick out of telling that story over a cup of coffee.
--Chris Throgmartin, <email@example.com>
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