Friday, April 06, 2007

Day one - Flight problems

We get to Gatwick in perfect time, no queue at checkin, and same at security ... we whizz through, and straight to Chez Gerrard for breakfast, with a perfect seat at the window. Looking out across a very busy airport, with hundreds of different activities happening apparrently in isolation, but actually in perfect co-ordination ... so the conversation turns how clever it all is and the health and saftey and processes were required to make it all work.

Called to Gate 45 at 1pm, right on time (for the flight due to leave at 1.40pm) - perfect! ... but at 1.30pm a speaker annoucement tells us "the crew have finally made it to the aircraft, and have started their safety checks". Around 2.15pm we get to the plane, to be told that the crew were being transported across Gatwick in a coach, and it crashed into another coach! Unfortunately one of the crew was thrown against the windscreen, and badly injuryed, and taken to hostpital.

A reserve stewardess had to be called from home, and hence the delay - and then (understandably) a further 40 minutes waiting for her to arrive.

Flight takes off, and all seems ok ... until 10 minutes from Deer Lake ... when the captian tells us that a problem means that he needs to land at St Johns instead, as the problem means he needs a long runway to take off from, and thus landing at Deer Lake would mean he would be forced to stay until it was fixed.

So we divert to St Johns, and watch various engineers working outside, in increasing wet conditions. Eventually, after a 45 minute delay, we're told the problem is fixed.

But then the captain says its possible we will not be able to take off due to the increasingly poor visiblity due to fog & rain. However they do start the engines and roll to the end of the runaway, and after a brief check of things - we're off again on on to Deer Lake.

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