So, the Bulldog Man has been known to put some miles on the old K-9 frame. First, 20 years in the service of Uncle Sam’s Air Force, both stateside, and to the far reaches beyond; and since retirement, in the need to feed the family.
Coming home Saturday from Salt Lake City, the day began with a 3 AM wake up call. At the airport at 4 AM for a 6 AM wheels-up airtime. Trouble began at about 4:30, when the carrier texted the Dog stating that my connecting flight out of Denver to the home front was delayed “due to aircrew timing restrictions”. Oh joy! I wasn’t leaving Denver for 4 more hours, and the crew wasn’t even going to show? Why was the dog out and about? What am I paying for? Well, the flight from SLC went uneventful.
Denver—now that was another story. By the time I got to Denver, the “delay” had changed at least 4 times, ending up with the “original scheduled time” being the last known data transmitted. Bulldog knows better. 45 minutes after the “original scheduled time”, the flight’s crew dogs showed up, all nice and blurry-eyed!!! All Aboard!!!
The time ticks away, the Bulldog wants to go home. No such luck. Someone forgot to put gas in the plane. Now planes need gas. I know this: saw lots of it pumped in 20 years in the Air Force. Planes need LOTS of gas. Another 20 minutes, and the gas has been passed (and not by the Bulldog!). Time to taxi. Now taxi normally includes checklists, control surface checks, the chance to say “hey” to the controllers in charge of keeping planes apart, etc. Now after not having gas, you would think the crew dogs would be on the ball………..but NOOOOOO……………
We turn onto the taxi way, the throttles get shoved forward, the plane begins to accelerate……..and at the point the nose goes up in the air (where Bulldog knows a nose should go)—the nose gets shoved into the ground….the engines go to idle, and the plane slows to a crawl, then to a stop………..Bulldog ain’t goin’ home; Bulldog ain’t happy.
When we stopped on the active runway, everyone was worried about fire. No smoke, no fire. And no word out of the cockpit. We taxi to the taxi way, and come to a stop. Pilot comes on, says “we’ve had a problem”…..Ya think? From 160 knots to zero on an active runway is NOT THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO WORK………..Unless of course you’re landing……WHICH WE WEREN’T!
Talking head comes on saying “we’ve had an engine and rudder problem, and it won’t reset. We’re headed back to the gate.” Okay, so no fire, but an engine and rudder problem make me want to find another airframe to go home on. Hello, Greyhound? Can you help a fellow K-9 out?
So, needless to say, they were smart enough to put us on another plane. Glad to see. Even I know not to fly on the first flight out on an engine repair. And I was in the mud Air Force. As the Bulldog’s old man said “I bet you left a bite mark in that seat!”
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