One of the benefits of being the only aviation enthusiast in the office is that when the department admin goes through the mail and finds aviation magazines or catalogues, she very kindly passes them on to me. I, of course, take them home where I go through them cover to cover. And then recently I happened to come across an advertisement to buy this:
Wait wait wait… Hold on a moment… I can just BUY “Follow Me” stickers and a flag? Are you KIDDING me??? Do you have any idea the amount of trouble I could get into with those? I mean I could walk out the door, “borrow” the nearest ops vehicle and spend the rest of my day merrily leading large aircraft around in circles.
First Officer: Tower, we’re declaring a fuel emergency.
Tower: But… you landed an hour ago!
First Officer: Yes, but the Follow Me truck has taken us three times around the airport to six different gates!
Tower: This airport doesn’t have a Follow Me truck!
Naturally I began to wonder, what other reasonably priced aviation items are out there that I should not under any circumstances ever be permitted to purchase? Imagine my shock to discover quite a few things!
Runway/Taxiway Lights: OK, so these aren’t exactly cheap. However, if I budget very carefully (and if I win the lottery) I could conceivably purchase quite a few of these. I’m convinced that EVERYTHING goes better with runway lighting! I’d be setting up runway lights everywhere I go. People would always know where I am at any given time. At home? Yep, runway lights up the driveway and in the back yard. Camping? Runway lights around the tent. In fact, I’m pretty certain I would put runway lights EVERYWHERE. You can see where this could become a problem:
Captain: We have the airport in sight. No, wait… actually that’s Jenn’s house.
Marshalling Wands: I’ve discussed in other posts about the trouble I could get into with marshalling wands. There would be airplanes awkwardly positioned random distances from gates all around the airport. However, the mayhem wouldn’t stop there. I’ve discovered a host of other places where marshalling wands could be useful (and by “useful” I mean totally not useful at all) including:
– marshalling runners across the finish line at the local marathon.
– marshalling equipment at the nearest construction site.
– marshalling fashion models up and down the runway. (I wouldn’t want them to knock over any of the runway lights. Put there by me, of course.)
– marshalling cats. Hahahaha! Just kidding! Everyone knows cats cannot be marshalled.
Magnetic FOD sweeper: Thank you so much aviation supply website! I had never heard of this piece of equipment before, but now that I have I am convinced I can’t live without it. I mean look at it! Can’t you just see me wheeling that sucker around the ramp, sweeping up all those metal bolts and screws that I scattered around earlier in the day for the sole purpose of using the FOD sweeper? Three words: Oh. Hell. Yes.
Plane Skate: I have no idea what the heck this is, but it just looks really cool, doesn’t it? Apparently it is used to move disabled aircraft. I’m betting I could use this on parked aircraft as well. Oooh! Just imagine the fun I would have rearranging the ramp parking area! No, not for functionality – for asthetics! We can’t have clashing aircraft parked together! “Let’s move the Cessna over there and park it next to the Bell helicopter. Hmmm… no, that just doesn’t look right. Those colors do NOT work together. Move the Cessna over there and let’s put the Piper next to the Bell. Oh yes, much better. Now let’s put the Gulfstream on the other side…”
Windsock: OK, so most airports have far more sophisticated methods of measuring wind speed and direction. But that would not stop me from stringing unorthodox windsocks all around the airport. Because let’s be honest, where would you rather get your wind information from – ATIS or the flying pig?
STOP THE PRESSES!!!
In my quest for aviation equipment I shouldn’t be allowed to have I came across the convention I shouldn’t be allowed to attend!
THE INTERNATIONAL GROUND SUPPORT EXPO!!!
Let me get this straight… they have an entire convention dedicated to ground support equipment? Are you freaking serious? And they are having it in Las Vegas! Have I died and gone to heaven??? Why the heck wasn’t I told of this sooner??? Probably because the organizers of the event have been desperately trying to keep it on the down-low in the hope that I wouldn’t find out about it. And also because they know I would have to point out a rather glaring deficiency in their otherwise excellent promotional photo. Can you find it? That’s right! WHERE IS THE STAIRS TRUCK? How can you promote what must surely be the most excellent expo of all expos and fail to include the most excellent vehicle of all ground support vehicles? If ever there was an event I absolutely should not be allowed to attend, it’s this! Paradoxically, if ever there was an event that truly NEEDS me, it’s this. And on that note, I’m off to set up a Go Fund Me account to help cover travel expenses! Your donations are appreciated. See you in Las Vegas!