Seeing the graphic pictures of the plane carrying the Michigan hoop team halfway in a ditch at the end of the runway spurs memories of just a couple of Grizzly trips that indeed were grizzly but the outcome proved favorable, even if the game results were not.
And in several hundred thousand air miles it is a testament that not only have I never lost anything or had a piece of luggage delayed, none of the troublesome scenarios were aboard a commercial carrier.
That didn’t make it any less concerning.
Just some thoughts of the older charter planes the Montana football team used to fly when journeying on the road to playoff games.
Now mind you the situation has drastically changed for the better with the use of carriers that fly charters in newer airplanes as part of their overall operation.
On one particular trip – and I don’t remember which one it might be – the 737 we already had loaded was leaking a bit of I believe hydraulic out the tail feathers.
The deal was if a certain number of drops dripped into a container – say eight but I’m not sure – we could fly but if it was more than that we had to await another aircraft.
Now I don’t know about you but I’d like to be flying in a plane that wasn’t leaking anything but as the drops were counted all was well and we landed safely as I remember in Illinois with the Lumberjacks of Western gave us a thrashing.
In another lifetime I flew out of Spokane bound for Chicago to drive to Louisville for the National Bowling Tournament.
It was 1980 and I was in Tacoma shooting an event when Mount St Helens blew, leaving my partner and me to figure out how to get to Spokane and back out in time to make the Kentucky date where the remainder of our group awaited our arrival.
On the first flight out of Spokane we flew above the cloud of volcanic ash until being told we were landing in Minneapolis because of concern with an engine full of the Mountain.
But we finally reached O’Hare and hit the road for an all-niter.
The following day bowling bags with balls full of ash didn’t fare well
The best trip next