Whenever I search using Google, it presents me two helpful Tips of The Day. They are random. Today’s tips:
1) How To Land an Airplane in an Emergency
2) How To Make an Origami Picture Frame
I shouldn’t try to find a relationship between the two, but it’s my nature to connect everything into One Big Whole.
I wanted to learn to fly an airplane, but I’m a procrastinator, and I still haven’t finished filling out the application form thirty years later. So if I am at the controls of an airplane, it is already an emergency. As for origami, I can fold a dollar into a tiny pirate hat.
I think the first thing one should do if 1) one is at the controls of an airplane; 2) one doesn’t know how to fly; and 3) the plane is pointing down, one should first 4) put down the origami.
But instead, the instructions say, “Take a breather.” I presume they meant to say, “take a deep breath,” because when your plane is nose down it’s not a good time to go for coffee and donuts. The instructions say you might be “overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation.” If I can count on anything in a plane crash, it’s being overwhelmed by gravity.
I think the next step could be skipped too: “Keep the aircraft level.” I promise to wait until my second lesson to practice barrel rolls.
Next I am instructed to “correct the pitch and bank, simultaneously turning the yoke and pulling it, to align with the artificial horizon.” The one thing plane crashing and origami have in common is that the instructions are confusing.
“Call for help.” Useful.I presume they mean over the radio.
“Give the controller the airplane’s call sign. This will not only clearly identify you, but the controllers will be able to get basic information about the airplane that you probably won’t know about.” Like where the pilot went?
“Find the airspeed indicator.” Spinning clockwise = bad. But alternately, “Do not let the aircraft fly too slowly, especially near the ground.” Glad to know that, because if it were up to me, I’d try to fly really really slowly, really really near the ground, then just step out.
“Never land with a full tank of fuel.” Or a full bladder. Maybe now would be a good time to fold that origami diaper.
My favorite instruction comes next:
“Land the plane.”
Alrighty then—and after that I’ll get back to curing cancer.
“The controller will likely lead you to an airport, but if not, try to avoid obstacles.” Is the ground an obstacle? I hear The Hudson River is popular this time of year.
“Reduce power to idle by pulling the throttle all the way towards you. It is a black lever located between the pilot and co-pilot.” This would be a helpful direction except we don’t know where the pilot and co-pilot are.
The instructions then explain that during the last few seconds I’ll be using a variety of flaps, slats, throttle and reverse-thrust to slow the plane. Just in case, I’ll make a little origami air-bag.
The final step says, “Congratulations! You have landed an airplane.” My first thought was, “How do you know?” But of course if I were reading the last step, either 1) “Congratulations!” or; 2) I was skipping ahead in the instructions. Regardless, it’s good to have a positive attitude.
In honor of my success, I’ll keep my origami parachute as a souvenir.