Saturday, February 24, 2007

How To Make An Entire Flight Crew Panic

OK, I just want to state up front that this whole thing was my fault.
On the flight attendant phone, there are four buttons. One calls the other flight attendant phone, one calls the flight deck, one goes out over the public address system, and the last one calls the flight deck. You'll have noticed that two of these buttons call the flight deck. The difference is, that first one doesn't make the flashing red 'emergency' light go off in the flight deck. The second one, the one that's right next to the PA button, does.
I think you see where this is going.
Today, just after we landed our last flight of the day, I reached back to hit the PA button in order to welcome the passengers to Duluth or Tierra Del Fuego or wherever the hell we had just landed at. It's a difficult reach, because the jumpseat is in the way and the phone is way up there. And because my nerves were all twisted, my fingers mutinied and hit the emergency button instead. What follows is a transcript of the next three seconds:

CAPTAIN: "What the crap!?"
FIRST OFFICER: "What the crap!?"
PHIL, after staring blankly at the flashing EMG button for two seconds, mortified into inaction: "CRAP!"

It finally occurred to me to hang up the damn phone, at which time the FO called me immediately to ask what the emergency was. Told him I had hit the wrong button, and because he was a laid-back guy, he laughed instead of killing me on the spot. But I did have to buy the first round that night, which was OK by me, because it meant putting a beer between me and those three seconds


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything you THINK is an emergency that turns out NOT to be, is worth a laugh. Bet you're not the first one to do this. Nor will you be the last!


8:54 AM  

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