Poor Word Choice – #1LinerWeds

We live about two miles from Bradley International Airport (BDL). In addition to domestic airlines and cargo carriers, BDL is home to an Army Guard base, the Connecticut Air National Guard and a variety of private aircraft. Our location is normally in the landing path of the crosswind runway (33-15) used by general aviation, and cargo aircraft, and runway (1-19) which is used by private aircraft and some Army Guard aircraft.

Living in this flight path, we have become familiar with the sound of approaching aircraft. I should point out that The Editor is far more attuned to these sounds than I am. I long ago relegated these to the category of background noise – except for the C-130s and Chinook helicopters – there’s no not hearing those guys.

When something happens that causes those sounds to vary, we (yes, I mean The Editor) tend to notice. Twice last fall, a C-130 had to abort its takeoff and return to the airport, once for a fire in the cockpit and once for an engine failure. We noticed.

Two weeks ago, something seemed wrong in the skies above us. We (The Editor) checked into it (you can follow the tower communication) and found that the pilot of a private plane was having problems with the plane’s landing gear and was planning to make a “wheels up” landing on BDL’s longest runway. The planning, execution and aftermath of this landing caused traffic to back up and circle over the area.

Note: I waited this long to make sure that no one was hurt in this accident.

The day after the accident, I had to laugh as I read the article in the paper. An airport spokesperson described the accident and noted that runway 24 was closed into the evening as crews worked to remove the plane and clear the runway. He added:

“We’re not anticipating any further impact.”

Well yeah, I mean, with the wheels up, you only get one impact per plane.

I’m glad there weren’t any injuries.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. And, given the time of the year, it’s also part of Just-Jot-January. If you have a one-liner, I encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.


  1. What an incredible post! The one-liner makes me laugh, but the circumstance is a scary one. The photos, as always, are incredible, Dan. Thank you for the story and reflection. Seeing the flag at half staff makes real the tears shed across our beautiful country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gwen. Sometimes it feels inappropriate to laugh, but sometimes it helps. The flag being lowered is nothing to laugh about. It’s down for many reasons, all sad.

      I hope you have a great rest of the week.


  2. A long time ago, we lived near Lambert Field in St. Louis. I remember those flight patterns well, and we didn’t miss it when we relocated. Many years later when we were visiting the area, we saw that our subdivision had actually been razed and was actually of the airport facility. Close, we lived close. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Its weird that such a funny one-liner would come out of this accident. Can’t imagine what fear the pilot must have felt, not to mention all of you living in the vicinity. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

    Whenever I see our flag at half mast, it makes me so sad because of what it means.

    Beautiful sunrise/sunset photos. Maddie and her squirrel buddies crack me up. You have very chunky squirrels Dan.

    I hope our country can begin to heal, starting with a peaceful inauguration.

    Think positive. Test negative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There have been worse accidents at the airport, Ginger but I’d never look for anything funny in them. I think the scary part is when the military planes are in trouble and have to return. We don’t know what’s going on, but you can tell that something is wrong.

      The squirrels like to think that they are well prepared for the cold 😏 The funny thing is, even when we aren’t feeding them, they’re out there looking for food. It’s good to know that they still know how to forage.

      Between Covid deaths and the events in Washington, there’s a lot to be sad about.

      Take care.


  4. Glad it ended well, and that “no further impact expected.”
    I encountered same-but-different editorial content last week – something about “10 living leaders speak out against…” written as if we would wonder if dead people were part of the group.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes in the news world it seems they pay people for clever double-entendres and word plays, but I am pretty sure that this was unintentional, albeit funny after the fact. It was a nice bonus for you to include a colorful sunset in addition to your more common sunrise shots. Like most readers, I paused for a moment when I saw the flag at half mast, reacting emotionally once again to last week’s events. Stay safe and warm, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike. I keep getting reminded of the fact that I have a much better view of these colorful skies in winter. Something to be said for the season.

      The reporter was quoting the airport manager, but I think I might have paraphrased his comments in this case.

      CT Gov (Lamont) has put the flag at half staff several times for Covid deaths and now for the death of the Capitol Police officer. These are all sad things. I look forward to see it flying at the top.

      Take care.


  6. Thank goodness no one was hurt. That’s more than enough to freak out anybody.
    Back in DC there was one small plane (no idea what kind) that had a frighteningly unsteady engine. It went over regularly. Other times one would come in so low that it sounded like it might hit the roof. In a nearby part of Maryland, a couple of times a small plane really did crash into homes. Devastation.
    Then of course, the time I crested a hill (in my car) and came eye to eye with a V23 Osprey, flying so low that I made eye contact with the pilot — before I ran off the road. That was funny — later. Now THAT is a loud aircraft. And they flew over in packs.
    In NM, flyboys from the nearby AFB get their kicks making sonic booms. Sometimes several times a day. They really need to take that exercise out to the desert. But it’s not nearly as noisy as DC, even with the sonic booms.
    Dan, the squirrels are looking well cared for and lovely. That’s a particularly nice shot of the bridge. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen the Osprey take off at an air show and do a low-level pass, but I was expecting it. To see one after cresting a hill in your car must have been scary.

      We used to have A-10 Warthogs at the Guard base (before they were deployed to Iraq). They would fly over in formations of four planes, two pairs practicing “wingman” landings. One plane in each pair would land (as if damaged) and his wingman would follow him down and then pull up and circle around our house before going in for his own landing. It was fun to watch, but serious training.

      Your flyboys should head farther out into the desert, that must literally shake you up.

      I hope you have a good rest of the week Teagan. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL, it does. It shakes the whole house.
        That had to be cool to watch the whole exercise. Often there would be a group of six helicopters (not Ospreys but still large), flying around the area of the office building in Arlington. If outside, I’d look up for the source of the noise and think, “Oh, 2 helicopters… but that’s still loud…” then gradually I’d see the rest of the pack go by.


  7. I’m with you on the “inappropriate laughter” tag. It was a scary situation, sure, and if someone was injured, it would be a totally different situation. Thank God everyone is fine. But because everyone walked away, I’d have had to laugh, too. (Well, I did, actually.) “We’re not anticipating any further impact.” That’s the person they chose to speak to the media? Sigh.

    Great pics, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I might be looking for a better spokesperson. Also, if I were the reporter, I might have paraphrased that message instead of using a direct quote. But, they all walked away from the “accident” so I think it;s fair game for inappropriate laughter. I laugh at things a lot, but I don’t usually share it. I figured I was safe with a group of people who usually choose their words very carefully.

      I’m glad you liked the pictures. Thanks Staci,

      Liked by 1 person

  8. haha. We all need a good laugh! I wonder if it was said on purpose? As usual Dan, I love your photographs but I have a request: may I use the leaf and the pinecone photograph for next Wednesday’s poem? I was immediately inspired and have already written it. So, please, please, please! In anticipation of your saying yes, may I also request that you keep an eye out for a few more pictures of pinecones and leaves? I had a thought…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very poor choice of words indeed. I wonder if they writer thought about that after the fact and had to face palm himself. Thankfully, no one was hurt and that’s the most important news.

    Send some of that sunshine back to Wisconsin, Dan. Not too much, though, or it will blind us when it finally shows up. ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First think I thought of as I read this was Radar in MAS*H. He always heard choppers before anyone else did. I always wonder about some of the headlines in the news…. Is that squirrel winking at you? I think that was the ploy so Smokey could sneak inside. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Our old house in Calif. was under the landing path to Moffet Field in Mountain View, Calif. Is it still Moffet Field? Not sure it might be part of NASA now…anyway, those huge cargo planes, jets, and helicopters were noticeable. I never put them in the background noise category. I call well imagine you two noticing when the sound or pattern was “off”. I did.

    That was a funny line. I’m so glad no one was hurt!

    The sunset was pretty, and peaceful looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing how you hear all these different planes but you know when something’s not right. My wife said something both times the C-130s turned around. Sure enough, there were stories in the paper the next day. With this last one, she started following the tower communication because she knew something big was happening.

      We have had some pretty sunsets. The time and position is starting to stretch out but we’re only starting to notice.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love these squirrel pictures, Dan. I am glad no-one was hurt in this emergency landing. I have emergency landed [been in the plane but not flying it] on an agricultural plane landing strip in the middle of nowhere in a single engine plane. I’ve also been in a plane that had to emergency land without any power so no communication or lights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes, Robbie! Those had to be scary experiences. I am not comfortable in small planes. One of my best friends died in a crash about a month after getting his PhD.

      The squirrels keep us entertained.


  13. Context is everything. Of course the order of a sentence, punctuation or lack thereof, and use or non-use of commas can completely change the meaning as well. For instance, this famous example:

    A professor wrote “Woman without her man is nothing” and asked the students to punctuate it correctly.
    The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”
    The women wrote: “Woman: Without her, man is nothing.”

    Of course we all know the second answer is correct, but it serves as a good illustration. :-)


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, terminal airports are absurd. It was cheaper for me to fly from here to MSP, have my brother drive 3 hrs and for us to stay overnight in a hotel in Minneapolis, than it BC was to fly round-trip to Des Moines from here


      • Sometimes you really need to work the angles. I was getting set to pay $1000 round trip to fly into Miami for a client, then asked my travel agent what it cost to fly into and out of Fort Lauderdale. $350! It added ten miles to my drive from the airport to the hotel…

        Liked by 1 person

  14. My cousins lived near the San Francisco airport . They’d set their watches by the take-off schedule . I can hear freeway noise when other sounds die down , like in the middle of the night . It’s a constant hum . A friend of mine said to just imagine it to be the ocean .I guess we kind of absorb the noise (pollution) .

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Have to say something about that squirrel – so cute! On second thought, i am conveniently forgetting how aggressive they could be when living in N. CA! (digging holes everywhere).
    Sometimes these journalists are so much in their own thinking world, that they forget how it sounds to others (or maybe someone just glanced, and not really edited?: Was kind of startled that you could listen in to the tower communication – isn’t that supposed to be private?
    PS thank you for the reply of the Santa Barbara doors – I had a secret wish that maybe that would be our next living place – but it was not to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The tower transcript is available to anyone who logs in. Our squirrels don’t do too much damage. Chipmunks are a disaster in motion.

      I’m guessing the reported just wrote it down without thinking.

      I loved it in Santa Barbara.


  16. Smokey might want to move in for the winter. I bet that would be exciting. Speaking of exciting, no one being hurt in the landing makes it almost exciting, except that my husband is working on his pilot’s license. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Dan – love the Smokey one … but am glad no-one was injured. You’re a little close for me …but no choice sometimes – I’m glad you can block out most of the noise … enjoy the walking once again – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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