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Home > Stories, Truths & Myths > My dad's story from the Boeing 747?
My dad's story from the Boeing 747?
Aviation - Stories, Truths & Myths
Written by Capt Lim   
Tuesday, 29 November 2005 03:06

Boeing 747 Steep Turn Landing at Old Hong Kong Airport

Below is Anne's reply to my email...

Dear Captain Lim:

Thanks very much for your response! I guess Jodie really did have to creep through all the galleys and into the nose to find her daughter after all!

I loved your story about the coin collectors. I have a story for you, concerning center of gravity on airplanes.

My father was a commercial pilot, and in 1979, on his next-to-last flight before he'd retire, he flew a 747 charter to Hawaii. The airplane had uneventfully reached the halfway point, the weather was clear, all was going according to schedule, when suddenly the plane started to pitch and toss. But since no alarm bells or lights came on, the cockpit crew was mystified about what was happening. And a little scared, too, since none of the indicators was telling them what was wrong. Then they had another little moment of terror when they realized that the flight attendant hadn't called up to ask the captain to make an announcement to reassure passengers about the very pronounced turbulence. What was going on?

The answer was clear when my dad opened the cockpit door: the people who had won the trip to Hawaii and chartered this plane were the U.S. Champion polka dancers. And they were playing music and doing their best to dance in the aisles. When the group would "sashay" up to the front of the plane, the front would tip; when they*d sashay back, the plane would rear up; when the dancers found a way to "allamain" left or right, the airplane would of course respond to this shifting of weight.

My dad really laughed - the fates of flight had had their little joke on him - and so he asked the merrymakers to please sit down - or at least not to dance all at once. And they reached Honolulu without further incident.

Happy Holidays to you - and I*ll bookmark your website.

Anne Garvey

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