As my loyal Twitter followers know, a couple of weeks ago, I participated in flight attendant emergency evacuation training. This week, that story finally ran in the newspaper.
Here’s a little teaser to the story. (Photos by staff Photographer Stephen Carr.)
Long Beach >> The shouts came frantically and repeatedly.
“Leg, body, leg!”
Then more commands. Stern and unyielding, barked by Kaitlyn Doyle, a slender 24-year-old woman with long blond hair.
“Get in the raft,” she said. “Get in the raft!”
One by one, they came, jumping gingerly into the giant orange flotation device. “You can fit 18 people in here,” someone shouted. “There are only 12 here. Move over.”
The group moved closer together, shoulders touching shoulders. Everyone leaned against the back of the raft, moving 12 pairs of legs to the middle.
All wore life jackets, those flimsy yellow models you see during an aircraft safety demonstration — the ones most passengers ignore. But on this day, all participants were calm. Occasionally, they even laugh.
That’s because this was training, part of a three-day course for flight attendants and pilots assigned to private jets. The goal of the program, put on by a Washington-based company called Aircare Solutions Group and mostly held in a hangar at Long Beach Airport, is to prepare flight crews for any emergency — including a “water landing,” a term that is probably a bit of a euphemism. (Crash might be more accurate.)