Here in Charlie’s Corner, we share stories from aviation maintenance technicians. All of these stories and situations are completely true. The names in the following story have been changed to protect the identity of the guilty. And as always, do not try this at work and certainly not at home.
Did you know that three men were involved in the invention and development of the first powered airplane? You likely are familiar with the Wright brothers, but you may not know of Charles E. “Charlie” Taylor. If it hadn’t been for Charlie, the first powered airplane would never have left the ground. Charlie Taylor is credited with designing and building the engine for the first successful aircraft. He proved to history that pilot’s can’t fly without their mechanics.
Joe, a commercial airlines mechanic, was in the check hangar doing a crown inspection of a DC-10. For this particular inspection, he was secured in the boatswain’s chair, which was connected to the overhead hoist. The boatswain’s chair was used as a safety precaution, as the crown of the airplane was not only approximately 40-feet in the air but also round and slippery. Joe’s friend on the floor, also an aircraft mechanic, held the controls for the chair.
It should be noted that this particular mechanic, Joe, had played many practical jokes on his co-worker friends. He was quite deserving of what happened next.
While Joe was completing the inspection, lunchtime arrived. His mechanic friend on the floor used the controls to raise the boatswain’s chair to the hangar ceiling, about two stories in height. The friend then left for his half hour lunch break, leaving Joe stranded in the chair. Joe began to yell, and the other mechanics in the hangar noticed his predicament. As he wasn’t in any danger, everyone chuckled and went to lunch. When Joe was finally released from his chair prison, after having a half hour to think, he quickly repented of his many pranks and promised to tone down the severity of his future antics.
Story submitted by John, a 30+ years commercial airlines aircraft maintenance technician
Are you an aviation mechanic with an interesting story to share? Submit your stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org