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OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: cepak ()
Date: January 16, 2018 11:32AM

This was mine:

It started out on a Sunday. I had to fly to Melbourne FL and do some work with a JSTARS aircraft. My flight was supposed to leave at noon on Sunday, but was delayed an hour because "The pilot was unable to adjust his seat". We finally boarded, taxied to the runway and took off. Immediately upon takeoff, I feel this strange aircraft shutter, then look out the window at the aircraft wing and it is dumping fuel. It was the fasted return to the airport I have ever experienced, and upon landing and taxiing off the runway, we were surrounded by fire and rescue. Once we got back to the gate and de-boarded, we found out that the aircraft lost one engine on takeoff. American said that they were going to fly in a replacement aircraft, and we just sat there and waited. By the time everything is set and done, we land in Orlando, got the rental car, and drive to Melbourne. We got to the hotel around 2am and had to be at the facility at 8am.

The next morning the JSTARS aircraft was late, and we’re sitting around until 10am. We were scrambling to get everything done because we had to catch a 6pm flight from Orlando to Baltimore.

Nothing too bad at Orlando except a 2 hour flight delay, we get to the hotel by 11pm, and had to be at the Northrop Grumman facility at 8am. We get there at 8am to do work on an old 1960’s BAC 1-11 aircraft that we were supposed to use as our flying testbed. We were notified of a slight problem. Since there are only two of these aircraft in existence still flying, and spare parts are rare, we were told that there was going to be a 3 day delay since the other flying BAC 1-11 was flying elsewhere and the two aircraft shared the same rudder.

4 days later, the BAC 1-11 we were to use was back together and we were able to board. Talk about a piece of crap looking aircraft. All the seats were replaced with workstations and large servers, all the windows are blacked out, and there was trash everywhere (chip packages, sandwich wrappers, and soda cans), and it smelled awful. We worked all night to be ready for the next day flight.

Another delay as the rudder they just installed wasn’t working properly. Neither my co-worker nor I wanted to be on this flight. We decided we’d go out for lunch and found the nearest Wendy’s. Finally around 2pm the aircraft was ready, my co-worker and I flipped a coin to see which one of us would go up. I lost the toss.

We finally take off, and everything seemed to be going well for about the first 10 minutes. Then the pilot starts yanking and banking this ancient decrepit aircraft like it was a fighter aircraft. He was pulling 2 and 3 positive and negative G turns with this POS, and pitching and rolling in every direction imaginable. I can’t see anything because the windows are blacked out, and it is extremely hot because of all this computer equipment and inadequate cooling. I keep looking at my watch and wondering how much longer this could possibly go on. After 30 minutes, I’m starting to get really sick. The Wendy’s lunch is coming back to haunt me. I’m looking around but there isn’t a barf bag in sight. We then seemed to have levelled off for a couple of minutes, so I decided to go to the onboard toilet and puke my guts out. I make it back to the toilet closet, and low and behold, it is full of more computer equipment and no toilet. On my way back to the seat, the pilot pulls another 2g turn. My knees start to buckle and my stomach is in my ankles. I crawl back to my seat spend the rest of the flight just trying not to puke.

After the hour and a half flight we finally landed. I get out of my seat and position myself at the door to be the first one off the aircraft. They roll up the ramp, and once the door is open I’m out of there. I’m heading to the hanger restroom so I can go puke my guts out. Well, I made it through the restroom door, but I didn’t make it to the toilet, but instead the sink. By the time I’m through puking, I’ve filled two sinks with whatever breakfast was still in my stomach, and the complete contents of my Wendy’s lunch, fries and all. I now find myself picking out the larger chunks so the rest of it can drain down the sink. I then said to hell with it, cleaned myself up the best I could, and left the restroom.

Upon leaving the hanger, everyone on the flight was standing there staring at me. They then roared with loud cheering and laughter. I did not find any of this amusing. I was told that there was a long standing tradition that if anyone puked on the aircraft, that person had to buy a round of drinks that evening. I was in no mood for drinks, but at least I didn’t have to buy.

That evening I was still so sick that I puked a couple of more times, and I was not looking forward to the flight home the next morning.

On the flight home, I was so exhausted that I must have immediately passed out. The next thing I knew, we were landing. I get back to the car and I start to wonder if I’m going to be able to drive home. Not a problem since the battery on my car was dead. I called AAA and they arrived in about an hour. The tow truck driver said that he could jump start it, but I got him to agree to tow my car home, and I pretty much slept during the tow.


Tom Cepak
Fort Worth, TX

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 16, 2018 11:46AM

That's was Bad!

My Worst day was when one of the Generators I was running... Shorted a lead to ground and of course the "groundfault relay" tripped the 13kv 5 MW breaker and shut the unit down... just before it exploded and shot across the room I was in.... missed me!... filled the room with black smoke.

I , of course went out the rear door of the room since I had no idea what the Generator package was doing.....sadly that area was filled with black smoke..so back to the front door... nice sea breeze was pushing the smoke away... Whew!

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: January 16, 2018 11:46AM

Sounds like a real nightmare!
Sorry to hear about it.
BUT, now you have our curiosity up.
Just what exactly was the point of this flight?

.
-----------------------------------------------
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: cepak ()
Date: January 16, 2018 11:52AM

Flight testing software to get a JSTARS aircraft to communicate to the BAC 1-11 the latitude, longitude, and elevation of where the JSTARS aircraft wanted the BAC 1-11 to point its Digital Aperture Sensors.


Tom Cepak
Fort Worth, TX

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: January 16, 2018 12:24PM

Usually any aircraft they give up for testing is the hanger queen anyway. We started adding extra days to our test schedule just to troubleshoot the aircraft before testing began. The exception was the WC-130J hurricane hunters - they seemed to maintain all 10 aircraft equally.

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Oklahoma City, OK

Click for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Forecast

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: jimc ()
Date: January 16, 2018 12:29PM

I have nothing to top that, except to say, think how nice and dull your retirement might be.hot smiley

Hang in there.

Jimc
1965 Corsa
HACOA Member

CORSA 2017 Concours Senior Gold Award
AACA 2015 Award

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: cepak ()
Date: January 16, 2018 12:41PM

jimc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have nothing to top that, except to say, think
> how nice and dull your retirement might be.hot smiley
>
> Hang in there.

Yeah, only 10 years left until I can retire.


Tom Cepak
Fort Worth, TX

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: DAVECS1 ()
Date: January 16, 2018 03:37PM

That is a bad day. I did have a commercial flight catch fire 15 minutes after take off. I was flying for work. They turned around and made it back to the airport, complete with a dozen firetrucks and slides deployed. The pilot and I were getting oxygen at the sametime from the firemen. He looked at me and said he had about two minutes and he would not have been able to land the plane. Never been scared so chitless in my life! That night on the news the airport said the was a problem with the sensors that detect heat and smoke in the baggage compartment. I assure you there was no problem! American gave me 50000 air miles for my troubles and a years worth of gold status.

1964 Monza Convertible
110 4 speed
Peoria, IL

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: January 17, 2018 08:53AM

Well sorry you had a rough week but it does make a good story I did laugh a bit, well a lot actually.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: flamingchariots ()
Date: January 17, 2018 09:02AM

Are you going to sell the movie rights? grinning smiley

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: cepak ()
Date: January 17, 2018 10:54AM

flamingchariots Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are you going to sell the movie rights? grinning smiley


Would it be a made for TV comedy or drama?


Tom Cepak
Fort Worth, TX

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: January 17, 2018 11:19AM

Wouldn't Lockheed-Martin own the rights?

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Oklahoma City, OK

Click for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Forecast

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Re: OT - What was your worst work week?
Posted by: cepak ()
Date: January 17, 2018 11:23AM

They own me until I retire or lay me off, so probably yeah.


Tom Cepak
Fort Worth, TX



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/17/2018 11:24AM by cepak.

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