Wednesday Night Fever
Dave Jesse on October 10, 2014

This week three members of FDS attended the Bombardier Safety Standdown conference at Wichita. It’s the first time I have been to this conference and I have to say that the scale and quality of the conference is most impressive, with hundreds of aviation professionals attending plenary lectures and workshop sessions over four days.

Staggeringly, the event is sponsored by Bombardier so attendance is free of charge, and lunches and even a gala dinner are included

John Travolta

The Special Guest at the Gala Dinner was John Travolta, actor and pilot, who spoke eloquently about his passion for aviation



Among the points that John made, two immediately grabbed my attention.

Considering emergency situations, he stressed the importance of following the emergency procedure slowly and methodically. He encapsulated this very neatly in the phrase “Don’t behave in the style of an emergency”.

Another simple topic that he addressed was the importance of having enough sleep and food. Pilots who arrived on too little sleep and having just grabbed a quick bite many hours ago were ill-placed to deal with any problems that might arise, and he spoke of ordering food for a colleague and watching him eat to make sure his crew were ready for the task ahead.


As well as the serious aviation topics, he did slide in a few casual references to his acting friends, with lines like “…we had to wake up Bobby” referring to a transatlantic flight with Robert De Niro as a passenger.

Sometimes the romance of flight returns to this business.