In January, when I left the cold, snowy streets of Detroit, I might have done my best Arnold Schwarzenegger “I’ll be Back” impression. Lucky for all of us, no one got a video of my “Terminator” impersonation. What I meant was, I’d love to return to Ford in the summer for the Ford Trends conference. Even though I can’t find a YouTube video, or proof that I said it, someone at Ford must have heard, because I just returned from the Ford Trends conference in Motor City.
Let me say, I really enjoyed the landing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in June, much more than my icy landing in January. Although, in true “random stuff happens to me” fashion, my trip started out a little odd.
We boarded the “I’m so tiny it’s amazing this thing is an airplane”, without any issue. Our flight attendant walked through the plane, completed her checklist, and we sat back and waited for take-off. Waited. And we waited some more. And, waited. About 25 minutes after we were scheduled to take-off they announced this: “Ladies and gentleman we’d like to thank you for boarding the aircraft so quickly. We have lost out pilot and are currently on the phone with the operations team for direction”.
Um….you lost what? I’m totally looking around at my fellow passengers, all 40 of us, wondering does anyone else find this incredibly strange? Actually, if I’d verbalized the thoughts running through my head, I would have said: ” Did you check the bar? And who was in charge of the pilot?” Maybe pilots need to start wearing GPS devices…The plane got quiet while we spent time waiting. My phone kept dinging with updates from the airline, flight has been delayed 20 minutes. Ding, another 20, ding. Man, I really wished I had dressed more appropriately.
What does one wear for a one hour delay? On a tiny airplane. An airplane packed with passengers that are sweating. Oh, did I mention the lavatory that was providing us with eau de toilet, literally? Style is not my strong suit, but I’m thinking, just thinking, an air conditioned Haz-Mat suit would have been the perfect attire. Or, if I knew how to fly a plane, a pilot’s uniform, because at least then I could have sat in the cockpit, far, far away from the odor of sweat and crap.
Believe it or not, this story actually had a happy ending. Oh, and while I say “story”, this totally happened. This is a true story. But back to the ending. We “borrowed” another Captain, and I am totally quoting our friendly flight attendant. She said we borrowed another plane’s captain, and we were ready to depart. The rest of our flight was pretty uneventful. Despite the stench of the lavatory, nothing else exciting happened. We had a relatively smooth landing, and after retrieving my luggage, I was ready to immerse myself in the Ford Trends conference.
P.S. Stay tuned for my post detailing topics discussed at 2014 Ford Trends. Believe it or not, lost pilots, and borrowing Captains was not a trending topic.