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AlexK

Origin of "perfectly good airplane" ?

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The scary thing is that I used to hear that all the time from my fellow technicians in the Canadian Air Force.
I could have pointed any of them at a shiny, new CF-18 fighter plane and they would have been able to find a flaw in a few minutes.
Eventually I got so tired of their childish head games that I had to leave.

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When I talk to whuffos, I invariably get the response "Why would you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" I know there are some snappy comebacks to this, but it has always struck me as odd that everyone uses this exact same phrase. It is almost like they are reading from a script. It is never "a good airplane" or "an airplane that is not about to crash" or "an airplane that is just fine"

This got me to wondering where this cultural meme came from, as a response to skydiving. I don't remember ever seeing it on TV, which would normally account for this kind of common response.

Anyone else have any ideas?



When I did my tandem earlier this month I had the exact same responses. From EVERYONE, except one person.

My friend in Germany said, "Why would you want to jump out of a still functional airplane?"
Guess in Germany they only have still functional instead of perfectly good. I dunno.

Jodans

I'm a nobody, nobody is perfect, therefore I'm perfect.

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Dont let em piss ya off, they're just jealous you are doing something with your life that they could never dream of doing!!!!



Ever realize that those who don't have a dream are the ones who try and piss on yours? :S

ltdiver

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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My standard come back has always been "They haven’t made a "perfectly good” airplane yet.



Or mine, "You haven't seen our planes then, have you?" :)

ltdiver

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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So don't put pictures on your toolbox. If you want people to see em, some will think they're cool and some will think they're stupid. If you don't want to hear their comments, keep them in your wallet or something.



Funny thing is, though, is that my co-workers are constantly pulling my JFTC picture (the postcard size of the completion) off my desk and showing their patients! They either do this to inspire them to reach their recovery stage (work hard) or show them how crazy I am (not sure which one, but I hope it's the first).

-They- in turn (the patient) almost always 'come up with' that proverbial phrase of the "perfectly good airplane" and I have fun answering the question various ways (depending on the patient).

Maybe:

1) "Because the door was open"
2) "Have you -seen- our airplanes?!" ;)
3) "To have fun"
4) "To build up energy to work with -you- guys!" :P

5) For the sports-minded and those who bust themselves up on motorcycles or skiing or something, the: "The only time you get hurt in an airplane is when they land.....right?" .

I think it's become a riddle (from my co-workers) to see what I'll come up with next....That's okay. At least they support what I do on weekends. -They- go skiing, biking, surfing, scuba diving, etc...so they kinda understand. It's our sport, too. :)
ltdiver

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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"what happens when your chute doesn't open"



I've taken to answering this one kind of bluntly...."You die".

To which they follow-up with, has this ever happened to you?!

Duh! :S

ltdiver

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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If airplanes were perfect there would be no need for the parachute to have been invented.



Ever get on a commercial airliner with your rig on, sit down, and reply to the stares you get, "What, they didn't give you yours?!" >:(

ltdiver

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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If airplanes were perfect there would be no need for the parachute to have been invented.



Ever get on a commercial airliner with your rig on, sit down, and reply to the stares you get, "What, they didn't give you yours?!" >:(

ltdiver



Me, not me, I wouldn't do something like that. :):)
I just tell them they will all be briefed on the situation after take off.;)
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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It's immortalized in film: You're about to jump out a perfectly good airplane Johnny, how do you feel about that?

If they knew anything about airplanes, they would know that a "perfect" one doesn't exist, and never has.



My standard come back has always been "They haven’t made a "perfectly good” airplane yet.

If they question that I go on to explain AD’s to them. The only plane that I know of that has not had an AD against it is a Howard DGA.



My standard reply is, "Better than going back down with those crazy fuckin' pilots." Of course it helps that most people who know me know that I was once a pilot. Always a little bit funny when they look at me like, "Did he just say that?" ;)
"If at first you don't succeed... well, so much for skydiving." - aviation cliche

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It's immortalized in film: You're about to jump out a perfectly good airplane Johnny, how do you feel about that?

If they knew anything about airplanes, they would know that a "perfect" one doesn't exist, and never has.



"Jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft is not a natural act.....so let's do it right and enjoy the view...come-on" Clint Eastwood Heartbreak Ridge

Richards
My biggest handicap is that sometimes the hole in the front of my head operates a tad bit faster than the grey matter contained within.

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The 'perfectly good' phrase isn't specific to planes or skydiving- You often hear "why would you xxx with a perfectly good yyy?" in different contexts e.g.
"why would you crash a perfectly good car?"
"why would you spoil a perfectly good shirt?"
"why would you swim when there's a perfectly good boat?"
"Why would you eat out when there's perfectly good food at home?"

etc etc etc....

Geoff

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I get similar crap about riding Motorcycles. Why would I risk it? It's funny that my bike is so much more dangerous than skydiving but even though I just started I get so much more crap about how dangerous skydiving is and they could never do something like that.

If you have to ask you won't understand.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Rap is to music what etch-a-sketch is to art.

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How about something along the lines of: 'Because I know that if I can muster the self-control to overcome the fear of doing something as un-natural and terrifying as that, I can overcome just about anything.'
Skydiving is more than a sport and more than a job: skydiving is pure passion and desire which will fill a lifetime.

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The 'perfectly good' phrase isn't specific to planes or skydiving- You often hear "why would you xxx with a perfectly good yyy?" in different contexts e.g.
"why would you crash a perfectly good car?"
"why would you spoil a perfectly good shirt?"
"why would you swim when there's a perfectly good boat?"
"Why would you eat out when there's perfectly good food at home?"

etc etc etc....



That was the first time I've ever heard those phrases in my life. :|

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