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Married . WithOUT Children

Heidi Rice

It seems just when the American public is recovering from their fear of air travel and possible terrorist attacks, we now have to be afraid of . THE PILOTS THEMSELVES.

We are talking here about a recent incident in which two America West pilots attempted to fly a jet, drunk, with 124 unsuspecting passengers aboard.

It was 10:30 in the morning. .

Apparently the very on-the-ball security people became alarmed when they smelled alcohol on the pilot and co-pilot after an argument with the pair as they tried to bring their Starbucks coffee on board, which – along with everything in your suitcase – is against security regulations. However, it’s not clear if it was, in fact, coffee in their cups. .

“Hey! Let’s get hammered and fly jets!” the pilot suggested to his co-pilot prior to the flight.

The co-pilot, not wanting to be the only sober person in the cockpit, heartily agreed.

They even got as far as the runway, before being ordered by the control tower to come back to the airport where they were greeted by police and the Federal Aviation Administration and ordered to take a breath test.

“It’s merely mouthwash!” the co-pilot insisted, as the Breathalyzer melted before their very eyes – either from the booze or his bad breath. “It’s not MY fault it had a 12 percent alcohol content!”

But we can only imagine what the flight, leaving from Miami and heading to Phoenix, might have been like had the pair actually flown the plane.

“Let’s ROCK `N ROLL! . Roger,” the captain reports to air traffic control as they prepare for take off. “Hey, which runway am I supposed to be on? Roger. . “

As they soar into the sky, they hear a knock on the cockpit door.

“Captain, we seem to be missing 27 of the little nip bottles from the galley,” the flight attendant says with concern.

The pilots chuckle to each other after she leaves and crack open another shot of Jim Beam. .

The captain then radios in his altitude to the control tower.

“We’re cruising at . whooaaa . that can’t be right! It says we’re at 80,000 feet . Hey . we’re ASTRONAUTS! Roger. .”

The co-pilot has gotten quiet and isn’t looking so good.

“What’s wrong with you?” the captain asks. “You don’t like Jim Beam? Woozy? . “

“I don’t feel so good,” the co-pilot reports, his face a strange shade of green. “I think I have motion sickness. And STOP calling me ROGER!”

“MOTION sickness?” the captain asks, getting irritated that his drinking buddy isn’t keeping up with the party. “For Pete’s sake, we make a living traveling 500 mph at 35,000 feet in the air! Here, have another hit. . “

To make his point, the pilot than pulls back on the throttle, sending the plane into a 45-degree climb.

“You ever been on the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island?” the captain asks the co-pilot, who now has his head between his legs, trying not to get sick. “That’s nothing . watch THIS!”

He then plunges the plane into a 45-degree dive.

“WHOOO-HOOO!” he cries out in glee, thoroughly enjoying himself. “Hey, pass me one of those cognac bottles!”

Meanwhile, all 124 passengers have sensed that there is something very not right with this flight and begin wishing that, for once, they’d paid attention to the safety lecture. .

But, by the grace of God, the pilots make it to their destination – just like the drunk Northwest pilots did 10 years ago – but are surprised at the welcoming committee lining the runway.

“Well, I’ll be!” the pilot says, putting a hand over one eye so he can focus on what looks to be multiple runways. “They’re doing it in Phoenix now, too! I thought Miami was the only place where they greeted visitors with guns!”

What do you do with the drunken pilots . earlye in the morning?

New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice. com.


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