Pun Alley 07-29-2011

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Taking flight with aviation history

By Dick Frank

Today marks several significant dates in aviation history. The first transcontinental airmail flight from New York to San Francisco was flown in 1920 and the first jet transpacific flight was made in 1952. President Eisenhower moved us into the space age when he signed the NASA & Space Act of 1958.

Accordingly, we take off from Pun Alley’s short runway into the skies with some pilot axioms.

Takeoffs are optional. Landings are mandatory.

If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger, if you pull the stick back they get smaller.

Speed is life; altitude is life insurance. No one has ever collided with the sky.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.

Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.

Gravity sucks!

Helicopters can’t really fly. They’re just so ugly that the earth immediately repels them.

The probability of survival is equal to the angle of arrival.

A pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he’s flying, and about flying when he’s with a woman.

Try to keep the number of your landings equal to the number of your takeoffs.

There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold, pilots!

Flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror.

Never let an airplane take you somewhere your brain didn’t get to five minutes earlier.

There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing: Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Fright flight

A blonde had to fly to another country. Having never been on an airplane before she was excited. As soon as she boarded the plane, a Boeing 747, she started jumping in excitement, went seat-to-seat and shouted, “BOEING! BOEING! BOEING!”

Annoyed by the noise and ruckus, a flight attendant had to shout, “Be silent!”

The blonde stared at the flight attendant for a moment, concentrated really hard, and all of a sudden started shouting, “OEING! OEING! OEING!”

The jet fighter

Bernie, a boy in Israel, decided he wanted to be an aeronautical engineer and build airplanes. He studied hard, went to the best schools, and got his degree. It didn’t take long before he gained a reputation as the one of the finest aeronautical engineers.

When the Israel government wanted an advanced jet fighter, Bernie’s company got the contract and he was the lead designer. Unfortunately during the first test flight disaster struck when the wings broke off of the fuselage. Bernie redesigned the jet fighter, but the same thing happened again at the next flight.

Beside himself with worry, Bernie went to his synagogue to pray. The rabbi saw Bernie’s sadness and asked him what was the matter.

After hearing the problem with the jet fighter, the rabbi told him, “I know how to solve your problem. All you have to do is drill a row of holes where the wing meets the fuselage. If you do this, I absolutely guarantee the wings won’t fall off.”

Bernie just smiled and thanked the rabbi for his advice, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized he had nothing to lose. So Bernie did exactly what the rabbi told him to do. They drilled a row of holes where the wings meet the fuselage. The next flight went perfectly.

Later, Bernie told the rabbi that his advice had worked. “Naturally,” said the rabbi, “I never doubted it would.”

“But Rabbi, how did you know that drilling the holes would prevent the wings from falling off?”

“Bernie,” the rabbi intoned, “I’m an old man. I’ve lived for many years and I’ve celebrated Passover many times. And in all those years, not once has the matzah broken on the perforation.”

Irishmen flying high

Two Irishmen hired an open cockpit airplane to fly over Dublin on St Patrick’s Day. As they were winging their way through the air, O’Toole turned to his friend, Murphy and said, “Murphy, I’m going to fly upside down.”

“Begorrah, O’Toole”, shouted Murphy, “don’t do that, we’ll fall out.”

“No we won’t,” responded O’Toole, “I’ll still talk to you.”

Dick and his wife Jane live in Oak Run.