Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This time of year we fly a lot of families, which means a lot of kids. I try to go back, if I have time before the flight starts, to invite kids to see the cockpit. Most of the teenagers shrug and shake their heads. (How can a 757 cockpit compete with X-Box?) But the smaller ones usually jump at the chance. Here's a quick kid story from a couple years ago about a rug rat that tried to destroy us.

The feisty toddler eyed our cockpit as we were doing our pre-flight set-up. We glanced back at him, smiled and asked his name. His mother, standing behind him, told us the name, but I didn't catch it because at once the tyke charged into the cockpit on a mission of madness. He assaulted the center console with a vengeance and started throwing switches. 

The first officer and I looked at him, mouths agape. Saying nothing, he twisted every knob he could reach, threw every switch that beckoned at him, and pushed every tempting button that sat before his lustful eyes. Horrified, his mother grabbed him at the waist and started to pull him away, but I stopped her. “Wait! He’s having a ball. Let’s see how far he’ll go.”

He worked his way to the front of the console, never looking at us, tongue slashing side to side, lips slobbering, reaching farther and farther. But he couldn't quite stretch to the juicy throttles and the enticing flap handle. Undaunted, he began working his way back again clicking, twisting, punching, toggling until his mom could no longer stand it. She pulled him back, apologizing profusely, certain he had doomed our flight to a smoking crater. It took us about five minutes to accomplish damage control. He was too young, probably, to ever remember the day he tried to sabotage a passenger jet.

Not much happened last trip except that I had a grand time in Aruba. It was my first trip there. I believe I'd go back if my arm were appropriately twisted. I looked for Natalie Holloway. I would love nothing more than to bring her home to Alabama. But she wasn't there.

Thanks for the suggestions I asked for in the last post. I have been putting some of them to good use.

Happy New Year!

Here are some pics from the trip (click to enlarge).

Arubian beach

Cool pool

Arubian Sunset

Haitian Coast

Rainy day in San Diego

A 737 angles across us 1,000 feet below