More adventures with my friend Peter the Pilot. You may remember that yesterday he crashed a flight simulator game in the middle of Terminal 4 at Heathrow, while dressed in his full captain’s uniform. Well, it gets worse.

I once asked him if he’d ever crashed. Peter said, ‘No, but I’ve broken planes. I had to take a 747  from Manchester to Gatwick in preparation for an onward long haul flight. It was a rough landing with a strong crosswind, and at the last moment a wind sheer chucked the aircraft onto the ground a lot harder than was intended. Nobody was hurt, but it did cane some of the seals on the undercarriage hydraulics, so the aircraft was AOG.’

‘Well, Peter, I’ve always been told that any landing you walk away from is a good one.’

‘True. Embarrassing though.’

‘You can’t be the first pilot to have had that happen to him.’

‘That’s also true. But the reason I was shuttling the plane down was to replace one that had done the same a few hours earlier and was also AOG.’

‘See? Anyone can make a goof.’

‘Yes. But I was flying the first one too.’

‘So you broke two aeroplanes on the same day, in the same way, at the same airport?’


‘The ground staff must have bloody loved you. What happened?’

‘I got grounded and sent for re-training.’

‘Thank Christ for that….’