Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 177
…So you wanna be an airline pilot, eh?” Ace chides the young man in the chair to his right…
“The wheels aren’t locking, Captain Bannion!”
“That is not good.” A dozen scenarios are running through Ace’s head, but none of them good. “How much fuel do we have in the tanks, kiddo?”
“About two thousand liters,” he reports a partial load of 100 octane blend.
“Good thing we didn’t fill‘er-up at KC,” he calmly moves on to plan B. “The gear is going to collapse shortly after we touch down, so we are going have to set this plane down on its belly. Go back and tell Mr. Graham to come forward.”
When Billy ducks under the cockpit bulkhead, Ace gives the plane’s owner the bad news, “The landing gear will not lock Billy. We have tried 5 times, but the hydraulic system is messed up. I think I can put her down without too much damage, but you have to be the one to break the news to our people; you have that way of making prayer a part of everything we do, well, no better time than now.”
While Billy preaches to the choir, Ace talks to the tower at Midway Airport, “This is Graham flight number 2 zero-niner requesting a clear runway, we don’t have gear.” Simply put.
“This is the tower 2 zero-niner, we want you to put down on Runway 13C, and do a two pass fly-around to give us time to get ready. How many folks do you have onboard?”
“Thirty-one passengers and five crew.” That question was asked so that they can have enough emergency personnel at the scene.
“So you wanna be an airline pilot, eh?” Ace chides the young man in the chair to his right.
The airplane intern straps himself into his seat after checking with the navigator, who is almost as young and not feeling too confident about the heading he has figured.
“I’m taking us into a 20 knot northeast breeze, which should slow us down some… damn, I mean darn, there are enough ambulances down there to light up the whole airport.” The captain swallows hard. His final order is supposed to be funny, “Turn on the windshield wipers.”
CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.