Last year I flew to Manhattan, KS (yes, Kansas - home of K-State) to visit some family. The challenge with flying to this particular small town is that it takes nearly all day to get there (and it's only a 12 hour drive). The typical flight pattern is AUS to DFW to KCI to MHK. The very last leg is what is most alarming on this day-long adventure.
Now, I have been flying in/out of this airport since I was about 7 years old, and one thing has never changed: the planes that fly in/out of this airport. Even though USAirways is the main carrier for this last leg, it's always operated some some small regional jet carrier, like Mesa Airlines. These "jets" carry a maximum of 19 passengers. Typically there are no flight attendants and only one pilot on these small planes.
So, back to my story: we have boarded the plane and the pilot gives his flight attendant speech. While he's talking I notice that down the center of the plane on the fuselage ceiling there is a line of duct tape, and I get a little nervous. I've never seen anything like this before, and I'm not usually frightened at all about planes. But then the pilot walks over to me, as I'm sitting in the exit row, and explains how the door works. His exact words were, "Be sure if we go down that you grab the handles and pull 'in', then run like hell."
Was I supposed to laugh? How do you respond to that? I look at the person sitting across from me on the other side of the plane in the exit row and our eyes meet. I'm staring at a mirror image of my same look of panic.
Good news is that we made it safely into the Manhattan, KS regional airport, but I think next time I'll rent a car and drive from KCI.