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The Buzz in the Hangar

Adventurer C
One weekend evening we had some guests join us in the Dallas Maintenance Hangar. Somehow, a swarm of bees found their way inside the vertical stabilizer (tail) of one of the airplanes that was in for a scheduled maintenance visit. While they were flying around the tail, no Maintenance work could be done so SWA called in the professionals. Mr. Bee Keeper soon arrived with a hat net on his head and a can of smoke in his hand. He found his way onto the tail of the airplane and started to smoke the bees out. That's when it got interesting. Mr. Bee Keeper must never have had to extract bees from the tail of an airplane before because, for a split second, he used the extension tool that holds the can of smoke to hit the tail of the airplane to get the bees to move around. The mechanics, who were observing this activity, quickly yelled before he damaged a 5-year old 737-700. (There was no damage to the tail.) The bees were eventually removed, and the work started again. The Bee Keeper then received a tour around the airplane and began asking different questions. Now, I've worked around airplanes for a long time and I take for granted that the general public has an understanding of how an airplane operates. Not Mr. Bee Keeper-- he thought the wheels drive the airplane down the runway like a car. One of our mechanics explained that it's actually the engine thrust that moves the airplane down the runway. Then Mr. Bee Keeper said he saw the reason why the airplane was there to be fixed... because both of the wings were bent. SWA wingtipThe mechanic explained that the wings were designed that way. The bent wingtips are called blended winglets and they help with the aircraft's overall fuel efficiency among other things. A mechanic could not have extracted those bees safely so we thank Mr. Bee Keeper for knowing his profession, and the moral to this story is that we both need to keep our day jobs.