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Flying? The safest form of transport!!

Looking around and looking up, just to keep an eye on the world of aviation and report those obscure findings and happenings.

Too heavy for take off.
03 October 2008 @ 10:46

Alan Coupe and his wife Jan were approached by a stewardess while their plane was still on the runway and asked to move to help the aircraft get off the ground.  Mr Coupe, who weighed 20 stone, moved to the front of the aircraft to help to even out the weight so the plane could take off.  The embarrassment of the incident, which took place in Southampton in April 2005, led the couple to begin a drastic diet and the pair have since lost 12st 7lb between them.

The couple were on their way to Guernsey for a week's holiday with their son Chris when the incident happened.  Mrs Coupe, 49, who runs a bed and breakfast business with her husband in Stubbington, Hampshire, said: "The stewardess asked one of us to get up and move to the front, so Alan volunteered to move which I was thankful about as I was so embarrassed I just couldn't look up.  "We couldn't believe that we were too heavy for the plane to take off."  "It was a decent-sized plane full of holidaymakers so it was devastating to be told that even a big plane like that couldn't cope with all our weight being at the back."

Following the ordeal, Mrs Coupe joined a popular slimming club.  She persuaded her husband to attend and in the first week Mrs Coupe lost 8lb and Mr Coupe lost 9lb. The couple, who had settled into a routine of having takeaways and eating very late at night, turned instead to pasta, vegetable curries or steak salads.  Now Mrs Coupe, who also sufferes from multiple sclerosis, has lost 6st 5lb and her 54-year-old husband 5st 13lb.  She has since dropped six dress sizes to a size 14 and says that her and husband feel much more confident about travelling now.  She said: "I don't feel embarrassed about getting on a plane anymore - we all feel so great we could fly around the world now without a hitch."



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foxbat said:
03 October 2008 @ 20:19

Weight problems at Southampton have occurred before. Most embarrassingly for the airline in question, on one occasion half the passengers on a fully booked aircraft were off loaded from the aircraft and bussed to Bournemouth. The aircraft then took off and flew the short hop to Bournemouth where the passengers were reloaded and the now very delayed flight took off.
I worked a BMH for fifteen years and it always seemed odd that Southampton was selected to be the main south coast airport. The main runway is embarrasingly short for anything other than turboprop aircraft; extending is not practicable since the south end is bounded by the M27 motorway and the Northern end by the town of Eastleigh. The runway runs in the wrong direction for the prevailing winds which are E-W. The only solution would be a completely new runway but this too is a problem since the western end would be bounded by the Southampton Airport railway station and the eastern end by the multi-million pound Swanick Air Traffic Control Centre.
Southampton Airport claims to be suitable for 737 and 757 types but these aircraft types are incapable of taking off with a full fuel load and a full passenger load. The only thing that can be said for Southampton over Bournemouth is the off airport communication systems. SAM has direct access to British Rail and the M27 whereas BMH nearest Rail station is Christchurch (4 Miles) or Bournemouth (10 miles). Road Access is a bit off the beaten track too; the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road runs past the airport but final access is via a country lane! Bournemouth and Christchurch councils have been talking for years about improving access but will not implement improvements until the airport gets busier and the major airlines stay remote because of the access problems.

The only time that BMH comes into its own is when LHR and LGW are fogged in. Then BMH becomes the busiest airports in the South of England; regretably for BMH this only happens two or three times a year!

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