My father always says "Be the luckiest pilot,rather than being the best one"
Its the first time that I heard "MAYDAY" on the radio last night.I have to admit it was like a sudden splash of a "cold bucket of water" among the usual chatter of a friday evening at Istanbul departure frequency.
It was a usual day(as boring as the previous day),the only difference while I was on my way to our dispatch office through the passenger terminal 2 kids run towards me.They were like7-8 years old,one of them wearing a pilot wing on his shirt and asked me if I have a spare pilot wings for his brother,he was very shy and excited when asking.I asked them;
-Where are you guys from?
-What are you going to be when you grow up?
-(They both replied)PÝLOT, sir.
They were both so cute, I didn't have any sparewings with me,but I would hate to turn them down,so I took of my own wings and gave it to him,They were so happy and thankful runaway with pilot wings on both their shirts
I went to the plane with a smile in my face,we started the engines taxied to the runway,we were trailed by the Austrian Airlines A 319,OE-LDG.Actually they did pushed back before us but because of the parking positions we had the lead for departure. So departed as we rolled they were cleared to line up.As we were oncourse BKZ VOR(the first point of the SID)I heard the Austrian calling :MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY we have an engine failure due to bird ingestion,climbing 5000 on course BKZ request holding over BKZ.
ATC gave us a direct clearence to get away from the troubled airplane,we crossed our fingers for them and left the frequency.
Our flight was a 2 leg domestic flight to Antalya,couple of hours later we were back to Ýstanbul,interestingly we parked next to OE-LDG as we came back.There were some visible damage on the engine and big stains of blood were everywhere on the left wing and the engine nacelle.
Last night those two kids were lucky,they earned their first wings only with a smile,,the passengers on the OE-LDG were sure the most lucky people they had their pilots handled the emergency very well(at least I found the crippled airplane parked on the apron in one piece)
I was lucky,I would have been easily in the place of the Austrian airplane
I guess I will agree more with my fathers words after last night...