Monday, July 25, 2005

Skin Of One's Teeth

Recent air traffic control highlight:
With his plane hurtling down a Kennedy International Airport runway at nearly 100 miles per hour, the first officer of a DC-8 cargo jet looked ahead through the darkness and driving rain and asked the captain sitting at his left, "Is that an aircraft in front of us?"

The captain who gave the account was acting as the co-pilot, and as his eyes alternated between the windows and the instrument panel, he looked ahead but did not see anything. But the first officer saw what he thought were lights, the captain said, and asked again, "Is that an aircraft in front of us?" He swiftly took action, pulling back on the yoke and lifting the roaring jet's nose sharply into the air.

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