Kulula Airlines...
In this blogposting…
* An Unfortunate Injury
* The BBC Wildlife Fund
* Kulula Airlines
* This Blog
On your marks, get set, GO…

The ageing Sid (see the last blogposting) has emailed me this tragi-comic story lifted from the Rockhampton Courier-Mail in Australia. Take a deep breath and hold your nose…

‘A man from the Royal Australian Air Force suffered life-threatening third-degree burns after a portaloo exploded on Monday - an incident connected to an ongoing US-led military exercise in the area.

Officials believe that the man was using the portable toilet (also known as a port-a-potty) at Rockhampton Airport, in the state of Queensland, when he lit a cigarette.

"There was some sort of explosion," a Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said. "He suffered burns to his head, face, arms, chest and airways."

The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to the Rockhampton Hospital in a serious condition.

A spokeswoman from Talisman Sabre 2011 - a US-led exercise supported by Australian forces - confirmed the explosion was a military incident but said no further information was available at this stage.

"I can confirm that an incident has happened but we're still gathering information," the spokeswoman said.

There has been speculation that methane build-up in a portable toilet could cause it to explode - a theory was not proved when tested by TV science show "Mythbusters."

Until I received an email from Vivienne recently (she may have sent it to you, too) I was unaware that the BBC had a Wildlife Fund, let alone that they were going to close it.

Notwithstanding the august status of my former employer, I have to admit that I was surprised that it operated such a fund, preserving wildlife having no particularly obvious connexion with a large broadcasting organisation.

The cause, however, is an unimpeachably good one so three cheers to Aunty for having the nous to support it so actively - if a little quietly (I’ve never either seen or heard any reference at all to this fund).

Below is the link that, once clicked on, will take you to the website campaigning to prevent the BBC from making yet another wholesale blunder. Please take a moment to read it and support the campaign if you can.

And thanks, Vivienne, for drawing it to our attention.


Our next AGM, which is bound to be bathed in the gloriously warm sunshine of an English mid-summer, will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 24 August at the Tanfield Railway.

Truckshunter Neville, who’s a volunteer there, has promised to do a Dance of the Seven Guards’ Flags for us but don’t let that put you off. We always have a lot of fun when we have AGMs there - and remember just what an important historical site the Tanfield Railway is; it’s the oldest working railway in the entire world (having opened in 1725) and pre-dates the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which likes to hog the limelight in these matters, by fully 100 years.

Be there.

Dave Shannon - whom the gods preserve - has sent me one of the most pleasurable emails I’ve received in ages. It’s all about Kulula Airlines, a South African company with a highly unconventional, and extremely welcome, attitude to livery design and customer relations.

At first, I was sceptical about all this and found myself Googling their name just to make sure it was all real. And it is!
I hope you enjoy the photos - and the selection of cabin crew announcements below - as much as I did. You'll have to look quite closely at the pictures to get all the jokes.

On a flight with a very ‘senior’ flight attendant crew, the pilot announced:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing, the stewardess said:
"Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this aeroplane."

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker:
"Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
From a Kulula employee:
"Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."

And from the pilot during his welcome message:
"Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

An airline pilot wrote that on a particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline". He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had got off except for a little old lady walking with a stick. She said,
"Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"
The little old lady said,
"Did we land, or were we shot down?"

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tyre smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.."

Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement:
"We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurised metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."

Heard on a Kulula flight:
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this aeroplane is on the wing.. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all airlines dropped the sickeningly supercilious attitude they invariably have toward their unfortunate customers and instead adopted this kind of gentle good humour.

Some hope.

Thanks very much, Dave. Keep ‘em coming.

All other things being equal, I’m off on a short holiday today. I’ll be spending a few days in the Big Apple - yes, New York, New York (so good they named it twice blah blah blah). In the short time I’ll be there, I’m going to try and pay homage to all the those places and streets and buildings that we all grew up with, via songs, cinema and tv.

So look out - Broadway, Washington Square, Battery Park, 42nd Street, Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Central Park, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island Ferry...the British are coming.

Well, one ageing Durham bloke with a very old camera is coming.

I will try to post to the blog while I am there but, if that’s not possible, I’ll tell you ALL about it when I get back next week.

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Hildie said...

I love the Kulula cabin-crew announcements .... they are brilliant. Thanks Dave Shannon!

I'm sure I've written on the blog about this before .... in a similar vein to the Kulula Airways announcements , there are regular amusing announcements made at Leicester railway station by one particular announcer .... he treats the rail travellers to his
'Thought for the Day' and,as they hang about the station platform, he treats them to various snippets of trivia, the like of which has only ever been heard on Ian's 'Nightshift' programme.
We ought to plan to get off the train there one day ....
Truckshunter Heaven!

Hope you are having a fabulous time in New York, Ian ....
looking forward to hearing ALL
about it!

Sid said...

What's the betting Ian will be frisked at every opportunity....even if he has to join the back of the queue again and again.

Hildie said...

Oh, Sid .... I hope you are listening to Michael Poulter's radio programme tonight ...
I have just heard a Happy Birthday message for you from all your Truckshunter friends ... the request was sent in by Vivienne.

Sid said...

Oh I missed it Hildie, but will listen to it on listen again.
Thanks Vivienne, you're a star...but you know that already.

Linda South Shields said...

Dear Sid, I missed your birthday. I hope you had a good time. Belated birthday wishes from me xx Hope to see you on 24th

Linda South Shields said...

La Grierson is back !I can hear rejoicings across the North East as you all celebrate my return to the Truckshunter blog. I have actually remembered how to work this darned machine and it's mysteries are no longer denied me!!!! Next task,, to master uploading photographs, and boy do I have some doozies for you from my hols in Austria! See all on 24th xx

Hildie said...

Yay ... hello Linda ... how absolutely lovely to see you ...
(anybody) .... in here!!! Come in and sit down .... have a cup of tea ... how's your bad leg, pet?
Nowadays , Truckshunters seem to send emails to Ian ... rather than come on the blog and talk amongst themselves. I wish they still posted comments on here. I'm always hoping people like Peter in South Shields and Dave Shannon would turn up here .... not to mention our old regulars like Maureen and Vivienne and Lawrence and Kev and Anonymous and the one who looks like a pilot and I think there's one called Martin ....
and Gerry .... you see it gets quite lonely here on the blog for me and Sid these days.
So, you do know now I'm pleased to see you, Linda, don't you? Looking forward to
the 24th at Tanfield Railway ...
if you haven't done so already, come and join the gang you truckshunters out there.


Hildie said...

Hi Linda .....
can you remember ..... you once showed me where to buy Yankee Candles?
It was after an AGM in the Grainger Market.
I bought some Yankee Candle Tarts
that day .... well, yesterday,
in 'Home Bargains' at Consett -
they were on sale for a mere 19p
per tart!

Vivienne said...

Hi Everyone,

Well Hildie I'm still here...keeping an eye on you all!!! I'm busy,busy, busy at Gibside these days. I've been there today and I'm still recovering from the rush....it lasted from 11am until I closed up at 4pm! Then I had to sort out everything for tomorrow. I'm back there Tuesday & I guess they'll want me to cover the Farmers' Market next Saturday too. My one off offer of help seems to have escalated into an expectation of me working twice monthly at the Farmers's Markets as well as my regular Tuesdays, and occasional Sundays!!! It's a good thing that I don't have much of a life outside of Gibside!!!

I'm looking forward to seeing your photos Linda. I'm glad to know you are back with us again.

Lots of love to you all,

Vivienne xxx

Hildie said...

Morning Vivienne .... I'm SO glad you popped in for a visit. Hope all is well with you ....
mind .... you sound RATHER busy!
I tell you who we haven't heard from in a while .... the lovely Neville .... I hope he's okay.
And Ada .... I hope you are keeping well too!

Hildie said...

p.s. I'm sorry about all this checking -up on people that I do
..... every now and then I get an irresistible, little urge to do a roll-call to find out who is out there and who is reading Ian's blog ....
it's just us Primary School teachers, you see .....
we have to keep counting the heads !!
I do apologise.

Vivienne said...

Yes Miss! xxx

Hildie said...

Aw, I've just seen Paul on TV, on the lunchtime Look North programme!
They were doing a feature on the Sport and Leisure Industry ...
they said that Paul is thinking about expanding his business ...
Quadfather 2 perhaps ....
you might catch the item again at 6.30p.m. if you missed it at lunchtime.

To Serge ....
merci beaucoup for the advice you gave me about freezing croissants!!!

Ellie said...

Hildie - am putting up my hand just to let you know that I'm here too, Miss.
Hope you are all ticketyboo and yes, I'm still ready the blog.

Ellie said...

and I need lessons in spelling, Miss. ..........should be 'I'm still READING the blog'
No excuses - I'm just an idiot x x x

Hildie said...

You are such a good girl, Ellie,
you may put your hand down now ...
delighted to see you ... and I've marked you in! You may or may not be amazed to know that, in school
nowadays, there is no such thing as an actual register ....
I can't get over it!!! We do it on a computer!
Hope all is well with you.

Val said...

When's the head boy due back from the Big Apple?
So busy these days I don't always have time to read Ian's blog. I was going to get my other half to go to the AGM as we love trains. But I can't get time off in August - too many on leave!
Would've loved to have seen Linda's photos, having been to Graz and Vienna this year.

Anyway I saw in Saturday's Journal that North Tyneside Horticulture and Health Show this weekend is having a new Class - and will give the Alison J Best Trophy for Floral Art. They commissioned a glass trophy in Alison's memory and it will be awarded every year. The article's not on their website so I'll try to scan it, maybe email it to Ian if he could put it on the blog. The Show is at the Parks Sports Centre, Howdon Road, North Shields Saturday 1.15pm to 5.15pm, Sunday 10.30am to 3pm.
The show has all of the traditional classes of veg, fruit, flowers, baking and arts and crafts. It reminds me of when my grandma used to put her cakes and jam into a show at Prudhoe Street mission, behind M&S.

Hoping to be around a bit more when our summer visitors fly south for the winter.