Subject: try to keep a straight face

As best I remember 54 years ago.

Place: ORD ramp gate D-8. This is about a senior, no-nonsense, stocky, ethnic Polish mechanic, with a neck size of about 18. I had previously crossed the fellow in the wrong way so I was keeping my mouth shut.

I was seated at the 2/O position talking with Benjamin T. Griggs, the new VP of Flight Operations riding the jumpseat. Mr. Senior Mechanic enters the cockpit and jumps into the F/O seat and sets about replacing the NDB control head. Mr. Griggs asks: “What seems to be the nature of the problem?” [Some of you may recall that Mr. Griggs acquired a private pilot license to better under the airline pilot world.] The mechanic responds: “A bad NDB control head.” With a confident air Griggs says: “We are having a lot of problems with them these days.” Mr. Mechanics asks: “And who the hell are you?” Griggs responded: Benjamin Griggs, VP of Flight Operations.

Here comes the interesting part.

Mr. Senior Mechanic ever so slowly rotates around to the right, looking over his shoulder at me and says: “Oh well, they come and they go.”

Now I must keep a straight face.

Bill Day  


“I learned about flying from that.


Friends and Colleagues

In the era of my Air Force service I was assigned to a MATS Troop Carrier Sqd. in the South Caroline and Georgia. MATS (Military Air Transport Service) or (Midnight Air Trucking Service) ( + other unprintable definitions) published an excellent publication called the MATS FLYER. I have to hand it MATS for having the wisdom to distribute an ‘in house’ publication that was both humorous and self-effacing. Included in the MATS FLYER was a section termed, “I learned about flying from that.” These ‘Oh *hit’ experiences were indeed worthy reads. In a similar context I am forwarding unique aviator stories to you that have been submitted by your colleagues. There are all intended for your amusement and not intended to deride anyone.