18 March 2009

Quick-Thinking Pilot Averts Collision with Van

(Reprinted with permission from http://allgoodnewsalldaylong.com)

You gotta love Reuters "Oddly Enough" news feed. It's a great way to start the day scratching your head, wondering what on earth some people are thinking. This one today is a classic example of that. The good news of course is that it has a happy ending, although no doubt there were a few scary moments for the 80 passengers on board a Philippine airplane that was attempting to land at Legazpi airport.

Apparently a couple in a van were driving across the runway as a Cebu Pacific airplane was landing. The quick-thinking pilot managed to take off again, avoiding certain collision with the van in its path. It seems that the son of a local aviation official was teaching his girlfriend to drive, using the runway as a driving range of sorts. The man in question has now been suspended from duty.

Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal told the press, "It could have been a disaster if not for the presence of mind of a veteran pilot."

Personally I would like to nominate the "driving teacher" for a near-miss Darwin Award. If you're not familiar with the Darwin Awards, you should become acquainted with them. They are given out on behalf of people who rather ingenuously remove themselves from the gene pool. I for one am delighted that this man and his girlfriend will be receiving only a near-miss honorary mention, since they probably would have taken out dozens of other unsuspecting bystanders with their thoughtless stunt. It's a airport, for goodness sake. What was he thinking? Ah, obviously, NOT! Anyway, all are safe thanks to the pilot of the Cebu Pacific airplane.


Beth Mitchum is the author of five novels, one collection of poetry, and one music CD. Her works are available at Amazon.com through the following link:


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