The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Perhaps a Matter of Faith

In one of those "Could I have done it?" stories, a man lands a small plane after the pilot falls ill. It happened in the UK, jolly old England. The pilot and his lone passenger were just out for a little flight, the purpose of the flight was not revealed in the story, when the pilot "suddenly fell ill." The pilot managed to make an emergency call to (one presumes) the nearest airport but it was already clear that the passenger would have to land the plane.

Reading between the lines, I'd say the passenger was familiar with the controls to some degree but had never landed a plane before.  The tower called in two flying instructors to help talk the man down.

I called it a "Could I have done it?" story because it makes you wonder. I enjoy playing flight simulator games but I know that this does not prepare you for the Real Thing. The last time I was up in a single engine plane was with my father when I was 5 years old. And, yes, there was just him and me. At 5, I could not have landed the Piper Cub alone... I couldn't even reach the pedals, I would have undoubtedly crashed and died. Fortunately, my father was relatively young (maybe 34) and healthy at the time and there was no medical emergency.

Today, I think I could do it. Not because I play Flight Simulator games but because I would have no other choice. There are things you do when you have no other choice; like standing up to the moron harassing your date (even though he is much bigger than you) or taking control in an emergency. You just do it.

Is the passenger a hero? Or just lucky to get through it? Neither, I think. The pilot died later that evening from whatever it was that struck him (not revealed in the story at the time I read it) so he only saved himself.  I am sure the passenger is saddened by that but also happy that he survived. Truly mixed feelings.


Tom Sightings said...

Douglas, whaddya doin' to me? I'm already a nervous flier. I guess I'm gonna have to get one of them flight simulator games!

Douglas said...

Sorry, Tom... I thought those stories of commercial airline pilots taking naps might be worse.