Friday, September 27, 2013


Catching a Few ZZZZs on the Flight

Nothing better than catching up on some sleep on a long flight,huh?  Isn't that what most travelers hope for?   BUT...maybe you aren't hoping for the pilot to be the one taking the snooze.

A captain and his co-pilot on the packed 325-seat Airbus A330 had decided to take turns in having 20-minute naps during the journey on August 13.

But less than two hours after take-off, both were reportedly asleep, leaving the plane cruising on autopilot with no-one to take control in the event of an emergency.

A recent poll showed that 9 out of 10 people preferred
pilots that aren't exhausted. 
They admitted what had happened to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), blaming longer shifts over the peak holiday season, which left them unable to get more than five hours’ sleep in the preceding 36.

The watchdog has declined to name the airline concerned for fear of deterring other pilots from reporting problems.

It confirmed the carrier was UK-based but would not say where the plane had departed from or where it was heading.

Last month a survey of more than 2,000 adults commissioned by the association suggested that nine out of 10  people would be worried about being in an aircraft flown by a pilot who has been awake for 22 hours.

The airline's name has since been released but I decided not to throw the plane under the bus. British pilots are allowed to sleep in the cockpit under certain conditions so neither the pilot or the co-pilot are being disciplined.    I find this pretty amazing, British pilots not only can fly planes but they can do it in their sleep.

Duck Discrimination

A duck used by insurance company Aflac was let loose inside a subway station in Manhattan, angering PETA and the MTA. (seems the TA TAs are aren't happy.) Aflac employees followed the little guy/duck around taking pictures and tweeting to a Twitter account for the sake of some publicity.

The website Gothamist reported that commuters on an undisclosed N and R train subway posted images of
 the duck, but it found out that it was Aflac’s doing.

“Ducks don’t belong on the subway, especially waddling through stations, and especially not when they’re used as part of a publicity stunt that makes it harder for our customers to get around,”  spokesman for the MTA, Adam Lisberg,  said in a recent statement,

He added: “We did not know about this stunt, we did not approve it, and we’ve made clear to Aflac that it was improper. New Yorkers know that animals are only allowed in the subway when they’re enclosed in containers that will prevent them from annoying any other passengers.”

The duck is calling fowl on the blatant discrimination on NYC subways. BTW...Here at TAOBC we aren't promoting ducks taking public transportation.  It is true that it might not be the safest option for them.   Note to Ducks: Next time ask Aflac to call a limo service for you. 

Bike Love

A 55-year-old nurse in England named Eileen Remedios was visiting a patient's house recently. And when she went to leave, she couldn't because someone had stolen her bike while she was inside

Eileen obviously wasn't happy about it, but she kept her sense of humor and taped a note to the lamppost she'd leaned the bike against. The note said, "Please return my bike. It is old but loved, and will be frightened without its owner."

Now, obviously Eileen never REALLY expected to see the bike again. But when she returned to the patient's home the next day, the bike was chained to the same lamppost.

And the keys to the lock were under the doormat, taped to a note that said, quote, "A great big fat SORRY from the reformed bike thief." Then at the bottom, the person assured her that they hadn't mistreated the bike in any way.

Eileen ended up writing ANOTHER note thanking them, and letting them know the bike was "happy" to be home. No word yet on whether or not they've responded again.

Am I being harsh in thinking if you are going to be a thief...even a considerate should know the "i before e except after c rule".  If you can't spell it don't be it. 


Just Keepin' It Real Folks said...

The pilots need the flight attendants to say something like, "sit back, relax folks, it's time for some shut eye". And hah, the bike thief probably had a sore sorry ass.

Cheryl P. said...

Yes, but it's so much harder now that they took away the little blankets and pillows. If they really wanted to keep us happy, they should tell us it's nap time and have us all have little mats like we did in kindergarten. The pilots could join in on the naps in coach as what difference does it make if they are in the cockpit or not. If they are asleep does it really matter where they are.

That would explain it..the theif.....errr..I mean the thief, didn't like the bike and stole a better model.

Cheryl P. said...

It is nice to see those stories where someone is making the best of a bad situation. I thought that was very cute on the part of Eileen. I didn't groan at the wheely joke. I thought that was wheely clever of you.

The one thing we can be always be sure of..... is that if I have any ideas, they are probably not all that original and a host of other people have already thought of it. I think there are a number of things that have the Biker Chick reference attached to it.

Chubby Chatterbox said...

I'm not picky so for me it's one or the other: a pilot should either be sober OR awake.

AletaObrien said...

I've read stories about pilots falling asleep and putting it on auto pilot. Scares the heck out of me, but apparently it happens frequently because of long flight shifts. That's crazy!
Ok, cute that the bike was returned and the correspondence, even if there was a typo :)

Agent 54 said...

I'm sure your bike is happy.

Life, Laughter and Paris said...

I'll be going to New York in November. I sure hope the pilot is awake (and sober) because it's only a 1 hour flight. I won't, however, be taking my duck with me. He doesn't like the subway anyway - he prefers taxis. (These were all gems - ha ha ha)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Re the sleeping pilots -- there was an incident just like that in the US a few years ago. A flight "overshot" Minneapolis by a couple of hundred miles and the pilots eventually admitted they'd both been sound asleep at the time.

Dexter Klemperer said...

Maybe the thief misspelled it on purpose to make himself look more stupid and desperate than he was. Interesting that I assume the thief was male.

Cheryl P. said...

Ha, you really aren't picky. if they are giving them a choice of staying awake or not being drunk. How do you feel about middle seats and crying babies? Is that an either/or situation as well?

Cheryl P. said...

Most articles say that it isn't unusual on long distance flights to have one of the captains sleeping, but they are suppose to alternate who is sleeping and who is awake. Call me fussy but I would like someone one up in the cockpit alert.

I agree...even with the misspelling that is a really cute response on the part of the bicycle thief.

Cheryl P. said...

Perhaps, you are right. I don't make it work overly hard. In fact, it's nearly on a permanent vacation.

Cheryl P. said...

Oh, I am confident, Susan that your pilot is going to be wide awake for the entire hour. Sad about your duck not coming along. NYC is so pretty after the Christmas decorations are put up and the window displays are in for the holidays. Can't blame your duck for not liking the subways but I am really surprised he is game to get in a cab. Scary, really scary.

Cheryl P. said...

You always remember the best news stories. I hadn't remembered that, but I do now that you mention it. Yeah, sleeping isn't such a problem when they are on auto-pilot and just maintaining a level altitude but landing one asleep would be a real bitch.

Cheryl P. said...

Interesting thought, Dexter. Funny, that I too assumed it was a male. Maybe I jumped to that conclusion because the printing of the note didn't look like a female's handwriting. But maybe it just a girl with a funny sense of humor in need of some temporary transportation.....and has boyish print.

meleahrebeccah said...

"suggested that nine out of 10 people would be worried about being in an aircraft flown by a pilot who has been awake for 22 hours."

Um yeah - I would be terrified. And quite frankly, stories like this just ADD to my already existing fear of flying.

"Note to Ducks: Next time ask Aflac to call a limo service for you. " - AhahhAHAhahah!

I'm also DYING laughing at the misspelled word thief in the sorry note! But I'm happy the bike was returned!

Riot Kitty said...

I ask you, who is the bigger idiot: the 1 in 10 who said, "I have no problem with the pilot flying after 22 hours on duty! Yup, I'll get on that plane!" Or the genius at Aflac who said, "Hey, let's release a duck into the subway?"

Cheryl P. said...

I keep having to remind myself that the instances of something going wrong are very minimal. Even in that case, the plane landed safely.

I, too think it is pretty cute that the bike was returned....bad spelling and all. Perhaps, whoever took it was already feeling guilty.

Cheryl P. said...

I think that it is a toss up as to which is the bigger idiot....but I have to tell you if I am on a plane at 30,000 feet, I am voting for the sleeping pilot as the way BBBIIIGGGEEERRR IDIOT. I think it is wonderful that in both cases no one or no duck was harmed. Both could of had bad results.

meleahrebeccah said...

"I, too think it is pretty cute that the bike was returned....bad spelling and all. Perhaps, whoever took it was already feeling guilty." - probably!

babs (beetle) said...

Now I'm really glad that I don't fly. I always looked at pilots as being in tip-top condition. I would have been even more scared, the last time I flew, had I known that they go to sleep and are overly tired.

What a nice thief. Maybe he just borrowed it to get home, because he was tired, just like the pilots ;)

Cheryl P. said...

I hope I am not adding additional fear to anyone, as plane travel is still safer than being in a car....but I still want someone's eye on the windshield when we are all sitting at 30,000 ft.

I wouldn't be surprised if the bike thief really didn't plan on returning the bike anyway but still cute to pass the notes back and forth. You might be right, the person just was tired from walking.

lisleman said...

I think it's the sitting position with the noise but for whatever reason I can't sleep on planes. My longest flight was Hong Kong. Flew over during the night. I remember looking all around me and it seemed the whole cabin was asleep. A very few times I've manage to doze off for only a short nap.
I really really hate getting goosed on a subway.
Your bike is happy when it's tires are not flat.

Cheryl P. said...

Planning doesn't seem to be airline company's forte. I have sat in the gate area dozens of times waiting for the crew to arrive and equally been held up at the gate because some light or something isn't working right. (seems they would of seen that prior to take off time).

Cheryl P. said...

That would be horrible not to be able to sleep on an International flight. I can definitely sleep on those flights. Like you though, I don't tend to sleep on short flights. There are too many distractions.

I imagine not getting goosed on the Subway is everyone's hope. Probably better than being mugged though.

Guess my bike is happy. Yay!

Robyn Engel said...

Interesting. The survey indicates that 1 out of 10 people would NOT be worried about a pilot being awake for 22+ hours. Was that 10% asleep when they took the survey?

That is a hopeful story about the bike thief, and I hope he/she reads your rule about "i before e" too.

Have a good week, Cheryl.


Cheryl P. said...

I wondered about that 10 percent as well. Who would answer that they don't care if the pilot was rested or not. Stupid or drunk or very trusting people?

I wonder if he or she is like me...they realized after they left it that they did it wrong and now they are kicking themselves. I have sent comments and then realized that I had typos. The fact that the thief or theif brought the bike back weighs in their favor.