Friday, August 8, 2008

QF 424 Melbourne-Sydney: A graphic recording

comic-turned-steward craig hall rocking the morrissey qantas uniform

My Qantas flight* back to Sydney last week was delayed by almost an hour. "Technical problems", the voice over the airport PA system announced. Which didn't really augur well, given the recent spate of technical issues on Qantas jets. I prayed that they managed to sort out any cracks in the drip trays or dodgy oxygen cylinders.

Once we finally arrived on the plane, a very nervous-sounding captain thanked us for our patience and explained that the technical issue in question had concerned the flaps.

"Safety before schedule" the captain noted, mantra-like, on several occasions throughout the address.

After takeoff I found myself looking out at said flaps, hoping that the techs did manage to sort out the problem and not just simply quick-fix it with a couple of rubber bands - which is probably what Garuda would have done.

My attention was also drawn to the safety instruction booklet. I think it's the first time I've ever looked at it.

I was struck by just how much the safety booklet looked like a graphic recording.

I was inspired to attempt a graphic recording of the flight.

Not being equipped with a Charters pen set or large sheets of paper, I took out my notebook and biro.

I logged snapshots of dialogue from Deborah Hutton's welcome video and news stories including the trial of Radovan Karadzic, a profit downgrade at gaming machine maker Aristocat, media censorship at the Olympics and the Australian Ballet's search for a new Billy Elliott.

My concentration was interrupted by an inquisitive steward.

"What are you doing?" he asked me.

"A graphic recording" came the reply.

"Is that like graphic design?" he asked.

"Sort of" I replied. "It's complicated".

A longer chat revealed that the steward, Craig Hall, used to be a standup comic.

An affable chap, he was more than happy to pose for a shot - even with those iconic beverage accoutrements of the flight attendant.

"You mean my jugs?" he asked.

I asked if Hall ever found any use for his comic training on the new job.

"Yeah sometimes - it comes in handy for hecklers" he replied.

After filling the page, I flicked through the in-flight magazine.

In between a story about some new luxury topend resorts and ads for a new production of Wicked, which is apparently being sponsored by Qantas, I stopped at another ad.

At first glance, it could have been mistaken for a promotion for the new David Cronenberg collab production, The Fly The Opera.

Upon further investigation, it turned out to be an advertisement for Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services:

The plane landed - in 48 minutes.

Why some planes can do the Melbourne-Sydney trip in 48 minutes, while the rest require 1.5 hours, escapes me.

Perhaps it has to do with the size of the jet.

Or the flaps.

Anyhow, here's my graphic recording:

* I covered all my own expenses for this Melbourne FGI trip.


Imelda Matt said...

So day Patchwork?

Imelda Matt said...

sweet baby Jesus in his Christmas crib, your fast! I should have typed 'slow day'...I'm not good with multi-tasking!

whoozqueen said...

Could be the size of the jet, could also be the headwinds involved. Trips to the east from WA, for instance, can be under 2 hours with good winds. On the way back, if the winds are strong, four hours.

Blog Archive