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Flying anecdote, as promised

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csearle
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Flying anecdote, as promised

#123848

Postby csearle » March 10th, 2018, 9:44 pm

As promised on this board at some stage, I feel the urge to share this anecdote...

Sortie 249

I had to fly for two and a half hours in order to have the requisite flight time for the renewal of my flying licence. It was a miserable September morning in 2001. The clouds were low and my spirit had followed them down... This was my last chance to get the hours in without added complications.

The airfield and Cessna (D-EAEH, see photo linked to below) were at Landshut, half an hour's motorbike ride away up a Bavarian Autobahn. The weather didn't improve. Some of the treetops under the downwind leg of the traffic circuit were disappearing into the cloud. The only ray of hope came from a bright band, a silver lining even, between the ground and the sky to the South East.

I took off and, as if by surprise, was in the cloud almost immediately. Quick reactions brought me straight back out again. Quite a shock for someone at the time used to seeing out of the window. As agreed with the guys in the tower I ignored the traffic circuit and made directly for the distant brightness. Just past the Munich control zone the clouds lifted a bit and made the flying much less stressful.

And so began over two hours of flight, plying between the Alps near the Chiemsee and Landshut, or as near as I could reasonably get to it. Doing a dot-to-dot puzzle with small airfields in case the cloud should ignore the forecast and descend once again.

Eventually my bladder reported in. I was reluctant to put down for this trivial reason and decided not to waste time and hold on. After a long while I became more and more aware that I'd put myself in an awkward predicament. I realised I was never going to be able to hold on until the two and a half hours were up. Even landing was becoming unthinkable; believe me it's useful to have no such distractions, especially in marginal weather.

The only receptacle in the aeroplane was my crash helmet behind me. I wasn't about to use that. Or I could just relax and let go. Then the idea of a Lufthansa sick bag happened upon me. So, half standing, with my head pressed against the roof, holding course with the compass and height with the altimeter, I filled the bag. And boy was I relieved.

Only now I had another problem. This bag was almost full. I couldn't put it down. That too didn't bode well for the landing. Usually both hands are needed: yoke, mixture, carb. heat, throttle, flaps etc.

So, not wanting to litter the countryside with this bag, I flipped up the window and thrust the thing out whilst holding on tightly. It swung aft and there we stayed, the bag and I, in the noise and draught until I started working my grip along the open end and down the side.

But disaster struck. At a critical stage the bag reversed in the wind and emptied half its contents over the village of Taufkirchen (aptly approximating to “baptising churches” in English). I say half the contents because the other half shot inside the aircraft with a remarkable force covering me, the window opposite, my motorbike gear and indeed almost everything inside.

After the otherwise uneventful landing I did my best to clean things up quickly before the next customer turned up (unlikely because of the weather). I returned home rather flustered but happy in the knowledge that two hours and forty minutes were added to my total flying time.

Chris

The unfortunate aircraft

Lootman
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Re: Flying anecdote, as promised

#123865

Postby Lootman » March 11th, 2018, 12:05 am

Wouldn't the urine have vapourised in the air at almost any altitude, making it illogical to consider it unethical to ditch it even over populated areas? Worst case you ditched a plastic bag?

I would think that being a private pilot at what I assume is an older age would include contingency provisions for the inevitability of a weaker bladder and prostate. Boots have adult nappies for such situations, although it takes a real man to strap on a bag and tube.

csearle
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Re: Flying anecdote, as promised

#123878

Postby csearle » March 11th, 2018, 8:11 am

Lootman wrote:Wouldn't the urine have vapourised in the air at almost any altitude, making it illogical to consider it unethical to ditch it even over populated areas? Worst case you ditched a plastic bag?
Yes, I think I was taught that only water and ballast were allowed to be thrown out. I remember being happy to count the wee as being water but was not about to start chucking plasticky paper bags out. Besides which a kilo or so of bagged urine being slammed into by the tailplane might conceivably have made an embarrassing dent in the leading edge. As it was I got an anecdote out of it :).

Lootman wrote:I would think that being a private pilot at what I assume is an older age would include contingency provisions for the inevitability of a weaker bladder and prostate. Boots have adult nappies for such situations, although it takes a real man to strap on a bag and tube.
At 41 and a half, blessed with a capacious bladder, and an impressive sphincter nothing warned me that a nappy should have been added to my check list that day. But I was capable of learning. I procured a Little John and later a Lady J Female Adapter to mitigate against future pressured situations. I also added a line to my passenger briefing about discharging before take-off.

C.
PS For some reason the Lady J Female Adapter has never made it out of its plastic bag.

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Re: Flying anecdote, as promised

#124120

Postby redsturgeon » March 12th, 2018, 6:32 am

It's not just in the air that this sort of emergency can happen.

I am now at the age where BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is a real problem and I am now on daily medication for it which is brilliant stuff.

Last year however on a trip to Croydon that should have taken one hour , I got held up in traffic such that it became a two hour trip. I noticed my bladder getting a bit full and as I got nearer to my destination I realised that a pit stop would be necessary.

"No problem" I thought, I will go at my destination, a splash and dash! However when I reached the customer, right in the middle of Croydon, I had to park on a tram line, rush in to drop off the package and while I was in there I saw the tram coming so had to dash out and move the car...all dash and no splash!

I was now literally bursting and with BPH, when you've got to go then you have got to go.

You would be amazed how difficult it is in a built up area to find any suitable place for a quick pee, no public loos, pubs, McDs or similar! In the end I had to resort to a car park, parking next to a bush and using my car door as a screen!

I wondered if the boys in blue had caught me whether the "medical emergency" defence would have held good.

Strange thing about BPH though, you can be absolutely bursting and about to wet yourself but then when you show Mr John Thomas the fresh air he refuses to start the process!

John

BTW, according to the "I write like" website. This anecdote is brought to you courtesy of Nabokov!

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Re: Flying anecdote, as promised

#124235

Postby Lootman » March 12th, 2018, 1:59 pm

redsturgeon wrote:I wondered if the boys in blue had caught me whether the "medical emergency" defence would have held good.

It can happen to the young after a night's drinking. I recall in my twenties being desperate to go. I was in the Piccadilly Circus area and knew that the tube station had a loo. So I raced there only to find it had just closed and the metal gates shut. Since I was below ground and (I thought) unseen, I poked my wiener through the railings and relieved myself.

Imagine my surprise to hear the words behind and above me "Oh, that's nice, isn't it?" I looked up and there were two cops at the top of the steps watching me. Realising my predicament I uttered the words "Sorry, it was an emergency". They told me to go home and sleep it off.

I suspect in that area the cops see a lot worse. Of course, in France it would have been a non issue.

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Re: Flying anecdote, as promised

#124256

Postby Itsallaguess » March 12th, 2018, 2:58 pm

Lootman wrote:
Of course, in France it would have been a non issue.


Hang on, I thought this was most definitely a 'oui' issue?

Yes, that's my blue jacket at the back there, if you could just pass it over please....

Itsallaguess

Itsallaguess
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Re: Flying anecdote, as promised

#124257

Postby Itsallaguess » March 12th, 2018, 3:03 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
BTW, according to the "I write like" website. This anecdote is brought to you courtesy of Nabokov!


Indeed - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nabokov-Vladim ... B0092JP94W

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Flying anecdote, as promised

#124273

Postby vrdiver » March 12th, 2018, 3:37 pm

csearle wrote:... the other half shot inside the aircraft with a remarkable force covering me, the window opposite, my motorbike gear and indeed almost everything inside.

You weren't trained in urine expulsion by my instructor were you? When I was in control of the aircraft he would enjoy a cigarette, which he smoked until there was maybe an inch of ash ready to fall, upon which he'd open the window and nonchalantly flick it, except that about half the time the wind would grab the ash, turn it into a fine cloud and deposit it all over me (a non smoker).

Happy days!


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