Last week aviation headlines were made when a near miss occurred between a an Air New Zealand airliner…and a shark.
Yes, folks, you heard me right! Captain Sully’s suicidal flocks of Airbus-downing Canadian geese got nuthin’ on this aero-nautical predator. Nor, for that matter, does Jaws…
But what the unsuspecting traveling public doesn’t know is that aviators have been battling aquatic fauna for aerial supremacy since Wilber Wright lost his wing warping hand to a rabid nurse shark in 1906. And suspiciously stricken from the annals of history is Charles Lindbergh’s confirmed testimony of his harrowing encounter, while flying at 10,000’ on his historic transatlantic flight, with a school of killer jellyfish.
Yes, we airline pilot types have known all along about the vast conspiracy by the airline industry and world governments to coverup these close encounters of the marine kind. Think dolphins are benign, cutsey things you pet at Seaworld? Guess again. Given the chance, a school of marauding bottlenose surfin’ the jet stream will take out a modern airliner before you can say, “Flipper.”
Even Cap’n Aux himself, while flying the Alaska bush out of Juneau, AK, had a literal run-in at altitude with a two pound Chinook salmon in 1988. Well, actually, while delivering Tlingit locals and logging supplies to Hoonah in my treetop-cruising Cessna 207, I startled an enormous bald eagle who dropped its freshly caught load, which was shredded by my prop and splattered across the windshield.*
Talk about a bad day for Mr. Salmon!
Articles about the Air NZ shark encounter:
*This incident, while true, didn’t actually happen to Cap’n Aux. It happened to an Alaska airlines jet in 1987 in Juneau. But Cap’n Aux has plenty more “there I was in the Alaskan bush” tales to tell…stay tuned! The true story can be found here: