February 2013 #3: Eeek! A Frog!
1. Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps, four more quick seminars in how not to do stuff.
A. Classic sentences from mishap reports, chapter 139: “He learned the weapon was loaded when accidentally discharged it into his left hand.” The “he” in this case was an E-6 hospital corpsman who was at home, off duty, and getting ready to clean his new .45-caliber pistol.
“Discharged into” is such an innocuous phrase. We suggest “blew a bloody hole in.”
His wife, whose opinion of his gun-handling skills went unrecorded, drove him to a hospital. Docs found a flesh wound and no broken bones, so they stitched him up and put him on light duty for a week.
Guns would be a lot safer if the hard part was loading them, not figuring out whether they are loaded later.
Special homework assignment for gun owners: Next time you’re cleaning a pistol, ask yourself if you are an idiot. The answer should be “no.” Next, try to figure out how you could shoot yourself without doing something idiotic. Then go ahead with your task.
B. Seems a squadron had an aircraft part stashed in a hangar bay on the ship. There it sat, unattended and minding its own business for a few days. What could go wrong?
The “so far, so good” phase ended because its resting place was near the spot where the crew stored pieces of truly defunct equipment that had to be dismantled and then either recycled or disposed of.
One day a Sailor spotted the perfectly good aircraft part and figured there was no time like the present to start turning it into piles of wire, cable, harness, metal and other sorts of mechanical whatnot. After he had severed and disassembled enough stuff to push the damage into the Class C category, someone noticed and raised the red flag.
C. Cheese hole number one appeared when a one-pint spray bottle of alcohol fell off an aircraft and spilled on the deck. An employee wiped down the area and tried using compressed air to evaporate the rest of the alcohol. Cheese hole number two appeared 10 minutes later, when he started grinding on a rivet. Cheese hole number three was the presence of flammable material, presumably soaked with alcohol. A spark from the rivet set it ablaze.
The worker tried to smother the fire, and a nearby Marine grabbed a fire extinguisher and started using it. However, moments later, the AFFF system discharged, “filling the hangar with fire retardant,” the report said. “No damage to equipment or facilities was noted,” the report added.
Glad they put out the fire. I didn’t realize that you could fill a hangar with AFFF and not damage something.
D. The place: deep in southern Florida (Gene, pipe in a little of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” sound track).
The time: 0315 (segue to some ominous cries, growls and squeals). The task: a mysterious errand involving a shed in government housing.
The action: a civilian cashier strides along a walkway (Gene, here’s where we need some footsteps and some creaking noises). Suddenly, a wild animal attacks! The cashier staggers off the walkway.
The wildlife: not a cougar. Not a black bear. Not an alligator. But something, apparently, just as startling: a frog.
The injury: sprained ankle, good for 12 days of LIMPDU.
2. That’s all for this week, amigos. Until we meet again, here’s some free advice for prospective ATV passengers: Don’t ride with someone on their first outing. It could be way too exciting. 2. That’s all for this week, friends and neighbors. See you next time.
February 2013 #2: "Highly Motivated" Is No Excuse.
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