A bad time for films in airports

"Actually, there's a knack to opening the Concorde's windows..."    — A passenger's last words.
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X-ray advice

During our Sarek trip in Spring 1999, we had to go through 7 airports just at the height of the Serbian war. My films were subjected to tens of x-ray controls before I got pissed and called the airport police. Indeed, the security thugs at the airports are lazy and often don't want to hand check the films. Here's some guidelines:

Crashed and burnt airplane
Note: This document contains FAR Part 108 including Amendment 108-17 as published in the Federal Register on September 24, 1998.


Sec. 108.17 Use of X-ray systems.

(e) No certificate holder may use an X-ray system to inspect carry-on or checked articles unless a sign is posted in a conspicuous place at the screening station and on the X-ray system which notifies passengers that such items are being inspected by an X-ray and advises them to remove all X-ray, scientific, and high-speed film from carry-on and checked articles before inspection. This sign shall also advise passengers that they may request that an inspection be made of their photographic equipment and film packages without exposure to an X-ray system. If the X-ray system exposes any carry-on or checked articles to more than 1 milliroentgen during the inspection, the certificate holder shall post a sign which advises passengers to remove film of all kinds from their articles before inspection. If requested by passengers, their photographic equipment and film packages shall be inspected without exposure to an X-ray system.

[Doc. No. 108, 46 FR 3786, Jan. 15, 1981, as amended by Amdt. 108-1, 50 FR 25656, June 20, 1985; Doc. No. 26522, Amdt. Nos. 107-6 and 108-10, 56 FR 41425, Aug. 20, 1991; Doc. No. 26268, Amdt. No. 108-11, 56 FR 48373, Sept. 24, 1991]

Lightning strike on Boeing airplane
What does X-ray damage looks like ?
Depends if it's a classic X-ray or a tomograph machine. The first one is equivalent to a low intensity exposure of the film, so the dark areas on your pictures are lighter, with some washed out background color (most likely the back becomes dark blue). The latter one looks like a colorful sine wave very visible on the uncut roll, depending on the angle of the film when it went through the machine.

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."    — Leonardo Da Vinci.

Airplane Quotes

Famous last view !

And while we are talking about airplanes...

Left: Famous last view, artwork by Kevin Maher.

"Takeoffs are optional. Landings are mandatory."
"If God meant man to fly, He'd have given him more money."
"If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger, if you pull the stick back they get smaller. (Unless you keep pulling the stick back — then they get bigger again)."
"Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous."
Air show crash
"It's better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here."
"The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep the pilot cool. Want proof ? Make it stop; then watch the pilot break out into a sweat."
"Speed is life, altitude is life insurance. No one has ever collided with the sky."
"It's best to keep the pointed end going forward as much as possible."
"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."
"Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first !"
"Every one already knows the definition of a 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. But very few know the definition of a 'great landing.' It's one after which you can use the airplane another time."
"The probability of survival is equal to the angle of arrival."
"Always remember you fly an airplane with your head, not your hands. Never let an airplane take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier."
"A carrier landing is a controlled crash."    — A Navy pilot.
"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3."    — Paul Crickmore (SR-71 pilot).
"You know you've landed with the wheels up when it takes full power to taxi."
You go out first...
"Those who hoot with the owls by night, should not fly with the eagles by day."
"A helicopter is a collection of rotating parts going round and round and reciprocating parts going up and down — all of them trying to become random in motion. Helicopters can't really fly — they're just so ugly that the earth immediately repels them."
"Young man, was that a landing or were we shot down ?"
"Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself."
"Trust your captain... but keep your seat belt securely fastened."
"Any pilot who relies on a terminal forecast can be sold the Brooklyn Bridge.
If he relies on winds-aloft reports he can be sold Niagara Falls."
"Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement."
"Aviation is not so much a profession as it is a disease."
"There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing: Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
"The only thing worse than a captain who never flew as copilot is a copilot who once was a captain."
Dilbert, overbooking
"Be nice to your first officer, he may be your captain at your next airline."
"Any attempt to stretch fuel is guaranteed to increase headwind."
"A thunderstorm is never as bad on the inside as it appears on the outside. It's worse."
"It's easy to make a small fortune in aviation. You start with a large fortune."
"A male pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he's flying, and about flying when he's with a woman."
"Remember, you're always a student in an airline."
"Keep looking around; there's always something you've missed."
"Try to keep the number of your landings equal to the number of your takeoffs."
Who left the bubble machine on ?
"You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back."
"There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold, pilots!"
"Things which do you no good in aviation: Altitude above you. Runway behind you. Fuel in the truck. Half a second ago. Approach plates in the car. The airspeed you don't have."
"Flying is the perfect vocation for a man who wants to feel like a boy, but not for one who still is."
"Asking what a pilot thinks about the FAA is like asking a fireplug what it thinks about dogs."
"Being an airline pilot would be great if you didn't have to go on all those trips."
"Gravity never loses ! The best you can hope for is a draw !"
10. "The union president called — he said the pilots' strike starts IMMEDIATELY."
9. "We'll just ask the flight attendant to wake us up when we get there."
8. "My name is Forrest Gump — people call me Forrest Gump."
7. "Hey, Jim, do you remember where we're going ?"
6. "Buckle your seat belt — I'm going to try something I saw in a cartoon."
5. "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie..."
4. "Wow, we're sure a lot lighter now that we dropped that second engine!"
3. "Only 500 more flight hours, and I'll get my license!"
2. "They say this plane practically flies itself. Good thing, huh ?"
1. "TODAY WE DIE FOR ALLAH!"    — Top Ten Things You'd Rather Not Overhear from the Cockpit.