I hate to pile on here, but I’m thinking it’s been a bad week for Colgan Airlines. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, both of you, you remember my posts about the Colgan Air flight that crashed outside of Buffalo, NY back in February. As you may recall, I believe I flew on that very plane 5 weeks earlier.
This week it was revealed that the pilot had failed 4 pilot tests before finally passing, but had lied to Colgan Air about at least two of the failures. The co-pilot was a 23 year old woman who was making $16,000 dollars a year! What?!!? $16,000 a year? And she had peoples lives in her hands all day every day! I’m pretty sure there are people that work at my local McDonald’s making $16,000 a year and I sure as hell don’t want my life in their hands, although eating fast food prepared by minimum wage earners is definitely as risky as a Colgan Air flight. Then, in the midst of all this news from the investigation, a Colgan Air flight was landing in Buffalo and one of the wheels fell off! It just fell off! As the plane was landing. If I add up all the bicycle riding and car driving I’ve done in my lifetime, I’m sure I’ve traveled as many miles as that one plane and not once has a wheel just fallen off. If they pay their co-pilots $16,000 a year, can you imagine how little their mechanics must get? If you’ve got stock in Colgan Air I’m thinking this might be a good time to sell.
When I flew Colgan Air back in January maybe I should have suspected that it wasn’t a top rated airline when I had to load my luggage into a trailer hitched to the back of the plane. I should have suspected safety wasn’t their top priority when I entered the plane and noticed that all the seats were just lawn chairs duck taped to the floor. I began to suspect I might be on a cut-rate airline when I asked about beverage service and the stewardess, who was wearing a Burger King crown pointed to a piece of notebook paper taped to the wall that had “BYOB” written on it in crayon. Maybe I should have suspected their planes weren’t top rate when I saw the crew giving the jet a push start.
Here is what I’d like to ask of modern science: Get to work on that human cloning thing and apply it to Sully Sullenberger, the guy that landed his jet safely in the Hudson River after he lost both engines. Everytime I fly for the rest of my life I want that guy at the controls.