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Old 12th Mar 2020, 23:21
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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Back in the early part of the second half of the last century (1960's), a friend of mine was employed as a refueler at the Chattanooga, Tennessee airport. On his first day on the job, he was on the wing of a L-1049 "Consternation", or at least he recalled it was a four-engine airliner of some size. My friend was kneeling on the upper surface of the aircraft's right wing struggling to connect the grapples of his fuel hose to the tank. The copilot was in the cockpit doing preflight activities; his window was open.

My friend, thinking he had made a patent connection, signaled to his bowser partner on the ground to initiate flow. That's when the the hose parted ways with the tank, as my friend, frantically hugging his slithering snake geyser dance companion, rose several feet off of the wing and in a slow, gyrating dance, covered the majority of the fuselage with aviation fuel. Several passengers on that side of the aircraft, their faces framed in smallish windows, gazed out with baffled and confused expressions. Just before the guy on the ground saw what was happening and hit the emergency stop button, my friend rode his liquid bronco toward the copilot's open window, whereupon the second-in-command got an unwelcome face full of avgas. Coming to a relatively soft landing, my friend ran to his car and sped home. His first day was his last!

(I'm almost certain this is a true story.)

- Ed

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