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Thread: Dedicated to the Aircraft companies

  1. #11
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    Hi Kenny, as for Biggles, he used to ride a bicycle from aircraft to aircraft, he was a keen plane spotter and spoke in one of those posh 'Old Boy' type chatter, so we nicknamed him Biggles.

    Another Wardair story:
    I was working in the booking hall one morning and for some reason Wardair was known to have lots of wheelchair passengers, both inbound and outbound, sometimes numbering in the 30's without exaggeration.
    So this morning as the Wardair was checking in, if you bent down to scratch your leg they plonked a wheelchair under you lol. well the wheelchair passengers were mounting up and we only had a limited number, so it meant ferrying a passenger to the transit lounge then going back to get another one.
    We used to put them close to the gate so when the flight was called to board they were all handy to put on. anyway this morning we had to sit some behind the check-in desks waiting to be taken to the lounge, time was moving on, this was when a miracle happened!
    I went over to them and explained the situation, telling them we only limited staff and wheelchairs and we were doing out best to get them to the lounge, but as it was getting late they wouldn't have time to get their duty free.
    This was when the miracle took place, they all stood up bar one old lady, picked up numerous bags and shot off to the lounge unaided, we stood laughing watching them scuttle off.

  2. #12
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    Another great story Col, you should write a book, It sounds like it would be an interesting one. I am sure you could go on for ever. I know the only one's that would read it would be aviation type, but sure retired captains would get a kick out of it, they can understand it. Kenny

  3. #13
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    Ha Ha thanks Kenny.
    Another story springs to mind, I was in the front hold of a BOAC VC-10 with another guy, we were tying down some dogs, that sounds funny but what I mean is they were in the proper dog cages.
    We have to tie them down in case they get thrown about in the air from any sudden aircraft movement. Well in the front hold of a VC-10 there are some shelves about 2 feet off the floor, we had the dogs on them, also the front hold is fairly long.
    So while we were busy tying them down all of a sudden the hold door got closed, the aircraft engineer didn't see us up the front and he just closed the door, the guy with me went basaltic, he was shouting a kicking the door, I was trying to calm him down but he was in a panic!
    A few moments later the door was opened, he shot out and like a frightened rabbit, the crew outside had told the engineer we were in there, he was apologising to us for his mistake.
    I later kidded my friend by saying if he kept calm we could have gone to New York, we would have survived the trip because having dogs in the hold they have to keep the hold temperature and air supply constant, but he didn't appreciate my humour, after that he never went in a VC-10 hold again.

    Col.

  4. #14
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    I am glad you found my being funny telling you to write book. You see Col, as bad as that sounded, that was a bit of funny reading. I cannot imagine what that felt like as you guy's were accidentally left in the cargo hold, it's not like you were trying to be Stowe away's. You would think that they would have checked the cargo bay area before closing the door. At least they tranquilized the dogs for air flying, or they would have drove you two crazy with barking dogs. Where did you two depart from that would have gotten a free trip to New Your. Kenny

  5. #15
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    Hi Kenny, as I said we were at EGCC Manchester UK, that's where I worked for just over 33 yrs.
    I started a baggage handler unloading/loading aircraft, that job included working indoors too, in the baggage sorting area, booking hall and arrivals, got promoted to supervisor after couple of years.
    Then later promoted again, left the ramp and went working indoors, I missed the ramp more than anything. Then after a few more years the job changed and I re-deployed and went working in an engineering control room, got the chance of early retirement and jumped at it.
    I'm officially retired now because I'm 70yrs old on an old age pension, I've got lots of stories, some are not aircraft/airport related though so they don't belong on here mores the pity, some I can't repeat because I signed a confidentiality agreement when I left.

  6. #16
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    Hello Col, once again good story. Due to early back injury, I could never work in that environment working in baggage department of aircraft's to be right in there with the aircraft's. It sounds as though you had a great career with the airlines 33 yrs, those were the day's. Anymore with mergers happening to stay alive, they bring in there own people for most of the time and let some go. I remember back in the 60's major American airlines hardly merged, but deregulation changed that, therefor airlines had to merge so they don't drown. Thanks again. Kenny

  7. #17
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    Hi Kenny, funny you mentioned back injury, a lot of the guys including myself got bad backs, most of the time in the aircraft hold you were on your knees picking up sometimes heavy freight and some bags as well. Obviously the larger aircraft had bigger holds and some were containerised, they were a lot easier to unload and load, there were times though when you had to go up in the hold to free an awkward container that wouldn't move, most times this was caused by the underneath floor of the container was damaged and was stuck on the rollers.

    Another story springs to mind:
    I was the supervisor on this crew sent out to unload a C-130, it only had 3 cargo pallets so it was to be a quick job.
    The trailers were lined up to take the pallets, on these trailers were Stops that you lifted up to stop the pallet from going on the floor, once it was on the trailer you lifted the stops on the other side to keep it from rolling off that side as well.
    Any way the fueling vehicle arrived and the trailers were in his way to we turned them round and came in from the other side, so we dropped the stops so the pallet could roll on the trailer, but forgot to put them up on the other side, so course as the pallet was pushed on the trailer it rolled straight across on to the floor.
    We sent for forklift to try and lift it but it was too heavy, it meant unloading it on the floor and putting the cargo on smaller trailers, this held up the aircraft plus it was time for our shift to end.
    I radioed in to the base to say what had happened and to send out a relief crew to replace ours, the boss wasn't pleased, course it was my fault for not checking the stops were up on the trailer, it obviously got unloaded but I had clocked off and probably home by the time it was completed, I never heard anymore about it so it was probably put down as ****-up.
    But they say you learn from your mistakes, after that I was always conscious about making sure the stops were up.

  8. #18
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    What is this chapter 3,4 Col, I think you should consider a short story book. These have been interesting for the loaders & unloaders of commercial or military planes. It lets them all know that they are human and people make mistakes, like you said learn from mistakes. I hope the simmers have enjoyed your stories as much as I have. Again thanks for sharing. Kenny

  9. #19
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    At EGCC Manchester they have armed police patrolling in the terminal, well one day one of them was chatting to a ground hostess and during the conversation he was showing her his gun, I suppose it was lucky in one way it was pointing downwards because it went off and he shot himself in the foot.
    Well they patrol in pairs so his partner radioed for help, he was taken to hospital, not sure what excuse he gave to his superiors for discharging his weapon, I should imagine when he ever returned to duty he wasn't on armed patrol.

  10. #20

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    That story reminds me of the old Marine Corps chant, complete with hand signals: This is my rifle, this is my gun. This is for fighting, this is for fun.

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