Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Broken Planes


Bf rang me earlier, just after I had eaten my supper. He never normally rings me from abroad when he is in the middle of a mid-haul or short-haul flight, so I was pleasantly surprised, as he wasn’t due home until about 2am.

“Hi Darling!”
“Hi Darling, are you down route? You don’t normally call me from there, it’s nice to hear your voice!”
“No, I’m back at (our) airport… Have you eaten supper already?”
“Er, yes,”
“Oh, alright, do you want me to grab anything from the shop on my way home?”
“No, I don’t think so, Why are you home?”
“Oh, we had to turn back because of a technical problem.”
“Oh okay… (a bit confused) …When will you be home?”
“Shouldn’t be too long, I just need to do an emergency de-brief, which might delay us a bit, then I’ll be on my way.”
“EMERGENCY DE-BRIEF!?!?!?! What the hell was the technical fault!?”
“Gotta go, I’ll tell you when I get home, love you!” (I can now hear sirens).

YIKES! What was I supposed to think!? I rationalised that he must be okay, since he was obviously calm, and able to call me to have a conversation about eating. But still, I honestly think that if the world was ending, my man would remain completely unfazed by it! I’m sure he’s missing the normal ‘healthy fear of death gene’.

As it transpired, he had to turn his plane around and come home after a pretty major technical failure to his plane. They called the airline to inform them of the situation, and ask them how they wanted Bf and his Captain to handle it.

Whilst it wasn’t a dire emergency, they were told to return back to their departure airport (over an hour and a half’s flight away) rather than continue to their destination. They were already nearly half way to their destination!

They has lost a lot of oil over Europe, and Bf called ahead to the airport to suggest that they check the runway after they had landed for leaked oil.  As Bf’s plane landed they were followed by a chain of fire engines and emergency vehicles.

They were told to remain on the runway and not taxi onto the taxi-way until their plane had been checked over. Captain made an announcement to calm the passengers whilst Bf talked to the fire crews.

Obviously everything is okay. But this is the second time in two consecutive flights, less than 3 days apart that the jet Bf was flying has gone tech! On Friday he flew a jet down to another short-haul destination and ended up 6 hours late home. Captain should have rejected their take-off, but didn’t, and they ended up stranded down-route with a broken plane, whilst they waited for a new one! I’m now hoping that bad luck doesn’t really come in three’s!

I’m not so sure about Bf though. I swear he came home buzzed from the experience-like a kid in a toy factory!

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4 Responses to “Broken Planes”

  1. Pilots are weird that way. My hubby does the same thing if things go bad. I wonder if they train that gene out of them during their initial training…

  2. Airports and companies treat everything abnormal as an emergency. You know the four-way-flashers on your car, also called the hazard lights or the emergency blinkers, depending on where you’re from? Imagine every time you did something that required them, someone called the fire department and you had to do paperwork. Every time you had to stop and close the trunk properly, or you had to change a flat.

    Try not to freak out too much about such things, or he’ll stop telling you, to protect you.

  3. This is just too scary. Why couldn’t I have just got with a postman, or a teacher? PP you seem to have nerves of steel also! Hat off to you.

  4. Whats scary is when they have been a pilot for so long, they can’t wait to have something happen to break up the monatany of flying! Mine does the same thing. Its universal.. but that is what they train for, so I try not to let it worry me. it still does!


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