Culture aéronautique ?…

Un ami pilote m’envoie l’anecdote suivante :

« fin juillet, j’étais en jumpseat dans le cockpit d’un A320 lorsque j’ai vécu ceci : Au large, parking D5 à CDG, une jeune femme du sol qui accompagne les passagers embarquant vient annoncer que le dernier bus arrive, lorsqu’un 747 d’AF passe sur le taxiway en face. Elle s’extasie « Oh qu’il est beau cet avion ! C’est quoi ? » Le CdB, un peu moqueur : « c’est un Concorde ! » La demoiselle du sol : « Bah … pas possible, le Concorde : il y en avait qu’un et il s’est crashé ! » —- Sans commentaire …

The good old days…

Those were the good ole days. Pilots back then were men that didn’t want to be women or girly men. Pilots all knew who
Jimmy Doolittle was. Pilots drank coffee, whiskey, smoked cigars and didn’t wear digital watches.

They carried their own suitcases and brain bags like thereal men that they were.  Pilots didn’t bend over into the crash position multiple times each day in front of the passengers at security so that some Gov’t agent could probe for tweezers or fingernail clippers or too much toothpaste.

Pilots did not go through the terminal impersonating a caddy pulling a bunch of golf clubs, computers, guitars, and feed bags full of tofu and granola on a sissy-trailer with no hat and granny glasses hanging on a pink string around their pencil neck while talking to their personal trainer on the cell phone!!!

Being an Airline Captain was as good as being the King in a Mel Brooks movie. All the Stewardesses (aka. Flight Attendants) were young, attractive, single women that were proud to be combatants in the sexual revolution. They didn’t have to turn sideways, grease up and suck it in to get through the cockpit door. They would blush and say thank you when told that they looked good, instead of filing a sexual harassment claim. Junior Stewardesses shared a room and talked about men…. with no thoughts of substitution.

Passengers wore nice clothes and were polite; they could speak AND understand English. They didn’t speak gibberish or listen to loud gangsta rap on their IPods. They bathed and didn’t smell like a rotting pile of garbage in a jogging suit and flip-flops. Children didn’t travel alone, commuting between trailer parks.  There were no Mongol hordes asking for a seatbelt extension or a Scotch and grapefruit juice cocktail with a twist.

If the Captain wanted to throw some offensive, ranting jerk off the airplane, it was done without any worries of a lawsuit or getting fired.

Axial flow engines crackled with the sound of freedom and left an impressive black smoke trail like a locomotive burning soft coal. Jet fuel was cheap and once the throttles were pushed up they were left there, after all it was the jet age and the idea was to go fast (run like a lizard on a hardwood floor).  Economy cruise was something in the performance book, but no one knew why or where it was. When the clacker went off no one got all tight and scared because Boeing built it out of iron, nothing was going to fall off and that sound had the same effect on real pilots then as Viagra does now for those new age guys.

There was very little plastic and no composites on the airplanes or the Stewardesses’ pectoral regions. Airplanes and women had eye pleasing symmetrical curves, not a bunch of ugly vortex generators, ventral fins, winglets, flow diverters, tattoos, rings in their nose, tongues and eyebrows. Airlines were run by men like C.R. Smith and Juan Tripp who had built their companies virtually from scratch, knew most of their employees by name and were lifetime airline employees themselves…not pseudo financiers and bean counters who flit from one occupation to another for a few bucks, a better parachute or a fancier title, while fervently believing that they are a class of beings unto themselves.

And so it was back then….and never will be again!

Crédit photo : Charlie Atterbury – Merci Vince ! 😉

Grosse semaine

Planning chargé la semaine dernière, surtout que j’habite à 1 heure (quand ça roule, bien sûr) de l’aéroport d’Orly.

18 étapes, 4 levers entre 3 et 4 heures du matin, et pour « LE » lever à 3h, le réveil qui affiche 02:58… Dur, dur…

Les pilotes de certaines compagnies ont droit à une chambre d’hôtel sur l’aéroport quand ils ont un ‘lever tôt’ loin de chez eux. A Air France nous avons beaucoup, beaucoup d’autres avantages, mais pas celui-là… 😉

Tchip ?

Photo prise pendant un découcher Londres – sans doute un coiffeur qui s’appelle Ryan et qui a de l’humour…

ryan hair