Tom Horne

Airshow gawkers–the horror!

April 15, 2008 by Thomas A. Horne, Editor At Large

Some people make lousy airshow visitors. During our flight from Tampa to Wichita, Hawker Beechcraft’s Brady Stewart spun some shocking yarns about his experience standing duty with airplanes on display. Here’s a partial list of some of the things people have done to some VERY expensive airplanes:

Opening cowlings. Smoking near the wing tanks. Wanting their pictures taken in the cockpit, but getting stuck so that they couldn’t get turned around and properly seated (“one guy got his butt stuck in the control yoke”). Kids throwing toy gliders and frisbees into turbine intakes. Raising the gear handle (!!). Spinning the props to show how easy it is to move a free turbine engine (“the Wheel of Fortune” spin). Standing on the wings! (This trick is especially popular in Russia, where the (non-pilot) participants are usually drunk, I was told).

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the chart-topper: CHANGING A BABY’S DIAPER IN ONE OF THE AIRPLANE SEATS. No, I’m not making this up.

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One Response to “Airshow gawkers–the horror!”

  1. Jill Tallman Says:

    Some of my favorites, from past static displays at the Dulles Plane Pull:
    A father posing four children on the wing of an untended aircraft for a group photo shot; and
    A youngster dripping a popsicle over the fresh new paint job of a Cherokee.

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