Stopping For Directions
A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an
electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft’s electronic
navigation and communications equipment. Due to the clouds and
haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter’s position and
course to steer to the airport.
The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a
handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter’s window. The
pilot’s sign said “WHERE AM I?” in large letters.
People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft,
drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said
“YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.”
The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course
to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely. After they were on
the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the “YOU ARE IN A
HELICOPTER” sign helped determine their position.
The pilot responded “I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building
because, similar to their help-lines, they gave me a technically
correct but completely useless answer.”