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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 1997.

This Vehicle is Uncertified

by Ted Mooney

It's a cold dark morning as you hurry through the jetway and onto the plane. Perhaps you're early because, strangely, no one else is on board yet, not even a flight attendant. Curiosity turns to concern as you're still alone when the doors close and the plane starts down the taxiway. Soon the plane commences its take-off roll, and panic sets in. Over the P.A. system comes the robotic announcement: "This pilotless drone will be headed into hazardous weather. This vehicle is not FAA certified; in fact, it has never been inspected by any government agency at all. And it was certainly never designed or intended to carry people."

You wake up from the nightmare in a cold sweat.

But in the end, having this nightmare was one of the better things that has happened to you. Because you vow that you will find another way. You are NOT EVER going to 'ride' your programmed hoist for maintenance, anode servicing, or for any other reason; and you are not going to turn a blind eye and allow your employees or service personnel to do so either.

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