Pilot Said ‘Mom’ Not ‘Bomb’

February 27, 2012 by staff 

Pilot Said ‘Mom’ Not ‘Bomb’, Friendly pilots can be hit or miss.

Occasionally you’ll get a good one with an empathetic voice who makes the delays sound unavoidable and undramatic while you wait on the tarmac behind 15 other planes. Maybe he makes a cute joke about his crew or takes a moment to wish an elderly passenger a happy birthday.

But generally speaking, we want the guys in the cckpit to be serious, laconic and utterly focused on steering the plane, even if that only requires wearing a uniform, pressing a few buttons and staying awake for the duration of the flight. As with surgeons, we tend to imbue everything a pilot says with a sense of life-or-death gravity, so any pilot making light remarks is taking a certain risk.

That was the case Friday, when a friendly pilot on a Southwest flight from Baltimore to Long Island sought to wish a happy birthday to “mom on board” mid-flight, and was immediately reminded that “mom” rhymes with the number one panic attack trigger-word for nervous airline passengers.

The pilot immediately clarified that he meant “mom” not “bomb,” and the crew spent the next minutes rushing around, calming panicked passengers.

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