Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Defense Condition: Jumpy

Is this how things are going to be for the next few months?

Boy, I can't wait for the big overhaul/review of TSA/DHS process and procedures commanded by Nobel Peace Prize winning apology-monger B. Hussein Obummer.

We pulled out of the gate on time this morning to the strains of the mid-cabin flight attendant yammering at the I-only-fly-once-every-two-years yokels back in steerage as the pre-flight briefing played.
Something was amiss back near the over-wing emergency exit.
The plane stopped out near the taxiway and waited while all three FAs wrestled with the Serious Problem.

I could hear several voices in the fray, seems like someone a few rows back didn't shut off some device in their carry-on and said device was beeping.
(Beeping! On an airplane! Heaven forbid!)

15 minutes of accusations and threats later, the captain informed us of the situation over the loudspeaker.

"Uhhh...From the flight deck, this is uhhhhh the captain. Uhhhh... There seems to be some kinda device in someone's bag in the overhead, and uhhhh.... In an abundance of caution, uhhhhhh we're gonna wait until the flight attendants find uhhhhh the device and turn it off so there won't be any uhhhh danger to the aircraft's operation. Uhhh thanks and we'll be on our way shortly."

Another 5 minutes goes by and the accusations are flying hard and fast.
"Whose bag is that? Do you have a cell phone?"
"Is there some kind of game in this bag? Please open it so we can see the contents!"

One of the FAs finally went up and called the flight deck. After a moment he got on the overhead.
"Well, we can't find it so were going back to the gate." he announced to a chorus of groans.
We hear another FA call up to him: "Wait a second..."
She comes up and they get on the phone with the flight deck.
After a short chat she looks back to mid cabin and gets a thumbs up.
She whispers into the phone again...
Another thumbs up.
They hang up.

"From uhhhhh the flight deck..we uhhhh got our issues resolved. We're good to go. Uhhh...thanks for your cooperation."

The solution slowly creeps forward by word of mouth.
One of the passengers by the window noted that the beeping was coming from the cabin speaker and was in synch with a flash he could see outside. Seems that there is a noisy relay on either the dorsal or belly strobe on the plane and when they shut off the light, the beeping stopped.

Lovely. Shrimply lovely.
We've just landed, 25 mins late.
I have 10 minutes to get to my next gate.
Next time I'm driving.


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