Flying in the Goo III - Final Approachgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
We are near the end of our flight and have turned "onto final approach and are committed to land. Just like the Space Shuttle, there are no 'go arounds.'" (thanks to PNG for the quote)
We have been continuously transmitting an SOS since 1993. Atmospheric interference, unauthorized transmissions on "Guard" frequency as well as assigned channels and serious contradictions in the FAA transmissions leave us wondering if anyone heard our SOS and whether or not the equipment will be standing by as we land. It is not comforting to realize that "SOS" is an acronym for creamed hamburger on toast and there is an uneasy suspicion that "PAN" would have been a more appropriate distress call.
On-board radar is not considered reliable, but it has indicated the possibility of severe turbulence and extremely foul weather between our present position and the airport. Radio reports have presented us with conflicting information, both about weather enroute and conditions at the airport. We are still blind, and at least one station has reported that the "Goo" extends all the way to the deck at 21st Century Airport. It looks very much like this will be an instrument landing, in spite of the fact that we're not really sure if our instruments are functioning properly or not.
As the automatic flight controls feed fuel to the engines, they begin to spool up and we feel the acceleration. The lack of a human pilot is discouraging and the desire to have Captain Alfred Haynes at the controls is an almost physical need. The die is cast however, and as the options have dropped away, year by year and day by day, we find ourselves unwilling passengers on an aircraft that we can only hope will carry us to a safe landing.
All that is certain is that we will not experience a "normal" landing. We must hope that the efforts to date and those that will continue until our arrival will be enough. There is scant time for food or drink, yet some does remain. Appetites seem faint but thirst grows. Seatbelts are still premature, yet some are already wearing them. A few even can be seen cinching them down tighter although there is still a considerable amount of time to go. To some it will seem like an eternity and to others it will pass in a seeming instant.
Access to our carry on baggage will soon cease and we can only continue the effort to arrange such possessions as we have managed to bring aboard in the way that we deem best, until the "Fasten Seat Belts" sign lights up.
Memories of the 20th Century visit on us both hope and dread as we struggle to focus on the Moon Landing and push back thoughts of Challenger The spirit of Albert Schweitzer lends strength yet we ask anew if, ". . .that nation or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated can long endure".
The only signal that seems reliable is GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) on Runway 00 at 21st Century airport.
"Taker Thunderbolt, this is your final GCA controller. You need acknowledge no further transmissions. You are 5,652 hours out, speed 3600 seconds per hour. You are on glide path, on course. Expect touchdown 21st Century Airport at 00:00 hours, January 1st, 2000. . ."
-- Hardliner (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999
It does feel that way Hardliner!
See also ...
Flying in The Goo
(Not sure where Part 2 is ... not categorized under General Awareness).
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
---8135 Sierra to THUNDERBOLT--- over
Great job Hardliner. I too can feel it. Have often wondered why the passengers never experience vertigo. Probably because they're not responsible for horizon, I'm sure you know what I mean.
I find this whole mess a lot like IFR without a visor. The mind keeps wanting to see the horizon, but every time you look too hard that feeling of vertigo creeps in. If you've ever experienced it you will know what I mean. It scares the hell out of you. The only way I can keep it from overwhelming me is prep and the folks 'round here.
Oh yea a little levity once in a while helps too
--8135 Sierra on down leg run, over and out--
-- spun@lright (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
Makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, Hardliner !!!!!!!!!!!
Niner 3625 Quebec
-- Taz (Tassie @aol.com), May 10, 1999.
And, to increase the uncertainty, compared with your earlier post, there appear to be major disturbances at the airport itself, including the possibility that the airport may be damaged by hostile activity before the plane is able to land. Will the runways be available or will the plane be landing in a field?
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), May 11, 1999.
Been to jump school?
-- Spidey (email@example.com), May 11, 1999.
From "Flying in the Goo" :
"Unfortunately, one cannot exit all aircraft in flight and survive, even with a parachute. Besides, civil aircraft carry no parachutes at all. Can you imagine an American Airlines stewardess demonstrating use of a parachute during rollout?",
and from "Flying in the Goo II" :
"I've discovered that although I was correct in that your position and activity at touchdown would be crucial to your survival in the event of a crash, Jack Sprat was also correct in his assertion that there are a few parachutes. Bailing out, however is indeed extremely risky (although possible to survive in this aircraft) and will be limited to those very few hard case D&Gers who have the utmost comittment to their beliefs."
-- Hardliner (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 11, 1999.
In light of recent developments is feels like we're on a 747 attempting a landing on a carrier in the middle of a hurricane.
No chance of reversing engines, no GPS, no tower, no touch and go!
Better be some on the deck ready to throw up a BIG safety net, and others in the Zodiacs with life savers ready.
How long are we gonna let Barron Von Kleenton keep fiddlin with the controls, all the while he's shootin' holes in this puppy?
-- spun@lright (email@example.com), May 11, 1999.
From "Flying in the Goo II" :
" Furthermore, this document confirms (although by extrapolation) what we all knew: that there are nuclear weapons and chemical weapons and biological weapons aboard that could kill us all, along with all the personnel at the airport."
-- Hardliner (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 11, 1999.
Flaps set 100% down and visual checked full down.
Gear down and locked. Green across the board.
Airbrakes to position 4. Set and checked.
Cleared to land.
Let's hope that it's a grease job to 3 wire. If not I hope we get to keep the big pieces anyway.
It sure does seem as though tomorrow is disappearing into yesteryear at a much faster rate than that though. My how time flies.
-- sweetolebob (email@example.com), May 11, 1999.