November 22nd, 1989

November 22nd, 1989

At home

Just got off the phone with Annabel, which is always an experience.

“Have you heard the news?” she asked.

“What news?”

“The near miss.”

“Sorry Annabel, I’m not following.”

“Miss McGarr, where have you been?” She didn’t pause to let me answer. “You haven’t heard about the Jumbo that came so close to the Penta hotel on landing that it set off the car alarms?”

“Shit, no. When did that happen?”


“What airline?”

“The world’s favourite, of course. I wouldn’t be interested if it wasn’t ours.”

“You really are too much, Annabel. What happened?”

“It was super foggy…”

“Yes it was, we circled for ninety minutes before we got clearance to land.”

“Apparently the Captain was alone in the cockpit.”


“Allow me to finish, Miss McGarr! Gosh, you can be terribly impatient at times.”

I found myself grinning. “Sorry, go on.”

“The First Officer and Engineer were both incapacitated.”


“Diarrhea,” she stated, with, I imagine, her signature shudder. “Isn’t that just the ghastliest word?”

“It is, actually but I wouldn’t consider having diarr, I mean an upset stomach as being incapacitated.”

Slowly, she said, “It can be considered such if one is stuck on the lav. Or in this case, two.”

“Ok, point taken.”

“Prior to being in Bahrain, the crew were in Mauritius where most of them somehow ended up with gastroenteritis.”

“Ugh, the poor things. There’s nothing worse than flying with a dicky tummy.”

“Apparently, due to the dense fog, the Captain mistook the hotel lights for the runway and almost came down on the bloody roof of the hotel! It was absolutely frightful.”

“You were on the crew?”

“No. I was at the Penta when it happened, after which all hell broke loose. Several people who witnessed it were terribly upset.”

“What were you doing at the Penta?”

“That’s not important right now.”

“You really are a dark horse, Annabel.”

“Perhaps”, she said with a chuckle.

“I’m assuming everyone is ok?”

“Yes, shaken, of course. Thank goodness the Captain realized his mistake in time. It could have been catastrophic.”

“How scary. I’m sure there’ll be a major investigation.”

“Yes, after which, I imagine, heads will roll.”



  1. Alesia Piol · November 22, 2016

    What an interesting story! Great read

    Liked by 1 person

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