1.8.2003 Emergency Hatches
Hope everyone’s holidays were festive. Ours were somewhat relaxing. We were visiting Elizabeth’s family in Houston and I only got called three times from work to help diagnose problems. Not like it was a real bother, but it made for rides in the car interesting with Elizabeth giving me evil stares every now and then. (chant—will not talk about work.. will not talk about work…)
Anyhow, we were just there for a week. Overall, it was a great time and always a bit relaxing. Feels good—I pretty much spent a lot of the time playing with Danny, Elizabeth’s little brother, and his Nintendo Gameboy. Someone really cool got him the new Metroid game for Christmas, and this thing is so much fun. He had a copy of this Korean movie called, “My Sassy Girl,” which I also found really neat.
On the plane ride back, Elizabeth and I sat in the emergency aisle. The legroom is usually more plentiful than the regular aisles, so it was a delight when we discovered where we were sitting. But these seats don’t come without a price, oh no. We were prescreened, questioned, scrutinized, and finally evaluated. The final judgment was that we were found capable to perform the duties as emergency aisle personnel, if ever the need arises, of course. I can tell that from their scrutiny they were almost positive that I was capable (possibly due to my GI Joe able-like attitude), but they did question Elizabeth a few times (it’s all in the confidence, I tell ya). They had to reconfirm with us to ensure we read over and studied the literature, especially the part of the emergency scenarios.
As I looked at the emergency hatch, there listed 4 easy steps: 1) grab the hatch by the two easily accessible handles, 2) pull the emergency handle (which is conveniently the same as the top easily accessible handle), 3) pull the hatch inward (noting the sticker that states that the hatch weighs 40 pounds and rips a huge hole in the side of the plane), and finally 4) toss the hatch out of the plane, preferably through the now gaping hole.
Weird pessimistic thought--I know that it's meant only to be used during times after the plane has landed, but times like these, one just can't help but imagine what it would be like 10,000 feet in the air with a huge gaping hole in the side of the plane. Would I just get sucked out, falling thousands of feet to my perilous death like in the movies? Well, maybe some of extreme fear of heights is mixed in there. I'm sure it's not pretty and makes you think twice about who you would like to be your emergency personnel.
Too freaky weird – shutter shutter
Anyhow, the release-the-hatch process doesn’t seem that entirely complex. But I have to admit that it is slightly worrisome that there’s a sticker that says that the hatch only weighs 40 pounds—seeing how we’re probably 10,000 feet in the air and Elizabeth is resting her head against it right at the moment—just doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy.