The Hoosierist: Flight Risk?

Flight Risk?

Illustration by Nate Kitch

Q: I see Allegiant is adding lots of nonstop flights from Indy. How safe are the discount airlines?
A: Cool your jets, my friend. When it comes to stuff like legroom, in-flight snacks, and overhead storage, airlines can (and will) skimp in every way imaginable. Especially the “bargain” folks. But when it comes to engine maintenance and pilot qualifications, everybody, from the cheapest operations to Delta and United, must adhere to the same strict Federal Aviation Authority standards. Which means that even if the flight attendants are wearing old fast food uniforms and there’s a live chicken loose in coach, the plane’s mechanical workings are FAA-approved. If you really want to live dangerously, there are international airlines that can make all of your fears about cheap air travel come true, including Air Koryo (North Korea’s carrier) and Yeti Air, a Nepalese outfit that has crashed into the Himalayas numerous times.

Q: I received a certificate from the state acknowledging my 50th birthday. Does everyone get this?
A: You can indeed receive a certificate marking a landmark birthday from your state legislator. However, it doesn’t happen automatically. If representatives are so inclined, they can scan the local newspapers (or have a staffer do it), then send unsolicited proclamations to constituents experiencing certificate-worthy events. It’s an easy way to remind the folks back home that their senator or representative exists. You can even request one. If Aunt Mabel is about to hit the big 9-0, contact your rep about giving her some props. As for the price of this “service,” the folks at the Statehouse won’t even take a stab at what mailing all those certificates cost. But it’s likely a very small portion of the state’s franking bill. And how could you put a price on the joy in a 90-year-old’s eyes when she gets a proclamation officially noting that she is old as dirt?

Q: After reading about all the money needed to repair Ann Dancing, I wondered: Are there any other pieces of cultural trail art that are as difficult to maintain?
A: The Hoosierist was also surprised at the bill for keeping Ann on her toes, and has learned that other Cultural Trail works such as the solar-powered Prairie Modules remain vulnerable to the elements. “Typically, our maintenance issues are worn paint or electrical problems, both due to living outside year round,” says Jordan Kingdon, the trail’s operations manager. But it’s not just aging electronics and paint jobs that require maintenance. For instance, artist Sean Derry’s Chatham Passage has a scent machine under it—a device that must have its fragrance oil replenished annually.


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