We’ve all heard at least of one of these items. Rotor-Wash, Blinker Fluid, Muffler Bearings …
The names and places of this practical joke story getting way out of hand will be altered to protect the innocent.
This one time, while working as mechanic at a Cessna dealership, we had a new helper for the parts department. In only a few hours he already turned out to be one of those annoying types who never shut up, don’t listen, and seemingly know everything (in their own minds anyway). After about three days, our parts manager, a really funny guy and a practical joker, had enough. He sent the kid over to Dundat & Bind Air for some “Prop Wash” to get rid of him for a few minutes and also to test him if he was as smart as he was telling everyone. He told the kid we were out and to see if they had some we could borrow. The kid headed out with the golf cart across the field to seek help from the other FBO. We now had proof the kid was NOT as smart as he thought, as we had all suspected.
With him gone, we all got busy working again. An hour went by, then two. The kid was gone for a long time. In fact, so long we completely forgot about him. Routine returned to the shop and everyone went back to business as usual. It wasn’t until a couple of hours later at lunch time when he finally surfaced again. “Where were you all morning?” our director of maintenance asked him as we’re all sitting around the lunch table. “There is NO propwash on the entire field! I tried everybody.” He blurted out, obviously stressed and then proceeded to tell us the story of his morning adventure. Apparently, he had been given the run-around by every FBO and was not able to come up with the product in question.
What we didn’t know was that instead of laughing at the kid, the guys at Dundat & Bind Air didn’t have the heart to tell him he’s been had, so they told him they were out as well and to try Roost-Air instead.
The highly motivated kid wasn’t about to give up and return empty handed so he headed over to Roost-Air. The guys at Roost-Air, always the practical jokers as we all know, took it a step further even unbeknownst to us. They pretended to look in their parts department, then came back and told him they still had plenty of Rotor Wash, but unfortunately no Prop Wash. They proceeded to send him on to Bumm Air. While on the way to Bumm Air, the Roost-Air guys called ahead and clued them in on the joke that had originated with us. It didn’t take too long until everyone was in on the joke. The airport had 4 FBO’s and 2 maintenance shops at the time, and nobody had told the kid the truth. Everybody wanted in and leave it up to us to break the news for him. They all immediately worked together. It was epic! You can’t make this up. It took some phone calling afterwards to all the parts departments to put the story together in its entirety and our parts manager thanked everyone for keeping the kid off his back all morning.
The result was, he was humbled, and it did make him tread a little more lightly in the following days. However, he didn’t last in the aviation business because of more personality issues and I venture to say we all might be better off without him …