I have a philosophy as it relates to air travel, expressed in three distinct axioms:
1. The TSA can, but I’m not going to like it.
2. I might need two seats, using the first for my carriage and the second for my legs.
3. No holes in airplanes.
There are other guidelines that I abide by, but these three are, as of this extemporaneous writing, the most important points of air travel for me.
I revised my third axiom following an incident involving a Southwest 737 that made national news after the atmosphere ripped a hole in the body of the plane, causing a sudden drop in pressure and leading to an emergency landing, possibly ending up in some crazy old lady’s yard. You know the type, with the double-barrel shot gun and the ironclad grip on trespassing laws, the cackling laugh and the broken english. I’m not sure if the last part happened, but everything else did.
After the whole hole thing, Southewest elected to inspect its other planes, and, surprise, found more subsurface cracks that would theoretically cause the same kind of disaster to take place. Hm.
I compare these happenings with the general principle, spoken by pilots everywhere, that air travel is safer than driving. I’ve never had a hole form in the fuselage of my Jeep, so I guess I’m comparing apples to oranges here. The Jeep does have some subsurface cracks, so I’m keeping the Bondo handy.
Here’s my solution: combine the relative safety of air travel with the adventure of the open road by having the plane drive. Passengers board the plane, the tower clears them, not to take off but to merge, the pilot turns his blinker on and merges on to I-94 and hits I-275 and then I-75 south, all the way to beautiful Jacksonville, Florida. Bridges and overpasses will not be a problem after the first bridge, since that will snap the tail clean off. With so many scrap metal yards in Metro Detroit, the highway will go into the kind of frenzy not seen since the great cupcake spill of ’89.
We can stop at some Waffle Houses on the way, eating in shifts OR stopping at a classy exit with multiple Houses of Waffle. They really do exist, by the way.
If truckers are being persistent and passing the guy going 55mph by driving 56mph in the Left lane for 9 miles, then we can momentarily gain altitude to make passing traffic a breeze. Also, the accompanying breeze from the engines will be appreciated by other motorists who think that air conditioning is the reason their mileage is so bad on the Hummer.
Once we get to Florida, it’s just a matter of parking someplace that has room for a jetliner. They call it an airport, so no worries there. Also, because we’ve been going 100mph, we’re there in no time flat. The captain/co-captain driving rotation makes even more sense when you’re fly-driving (or flyving), since their shifts always allowed one to drive and the other to sleep.
Bathrooms on board would reduce the need for a stop at a Rest Area to a minimum, only pulling over after the Stuffed Pork Ala Mode is served on the first evening. Listen, it’s a plane, not a miracle worker.
If the police should pull the plane over for speeding, opening questions like “do you know how fast you were going?” can be deflected by asking the officer “well… do you know how far above sea level you were?”. Dumbfounded, the policeman will go back to his car and try to run the plates, but to no avail. It broke off in Cincinnati.
That’s my idea. Flyving. It would truly be the best of both worlds. And the best part? If a hole forms in the body of the plane, we’ll just take turns poking our heads out to get a new perspective on our very safe trip to sunny, spacious Florida.