A made it home last night and is fine. He's already past the incident, while I'm still working through it. It's been so nice to have other wives to talk to. From the moment I first heard from A, my mental Rolodex started spinning through who I could contact for support.
It's really difficult to be on the receiving end of the knowledge, knowing only what you are told and being unable to ask any follow up questions. Every time we would talk, A would give me some new piece of information (only part of which I would understand as my knowledge of aviation and jet systems is limited) or tell me what was going to happen next and I'd ask "well what about this?" or "did you ask this?" inevitably he wouldn't know. What the next step was going to be changed every time I spoke with him. For a control freak such as myself, it was torture.
It brought up something that had been in the back of my mind since we started commercial aviation- who notifies the family if something goes wrong? I know that in the case of an accident it will be splashed all over the news before I am ever notified; news crews don't give a rat's ass about compassion for the victim's families. But who's job is it to make the official notification- the company or the union? And when? And how? Would I just receive a phone call and that was it? Would I be lumped in with the victim's families when they would probably be blaming the pilot for the incident? What if it wasn't an accident, but he had to be hospitalized and couldn't contact me? Would they contact me then? What is the notification threshold? Would I be flown out to be with him or would that be my responsibility? If, say, I couldn't get in touch with my husband for several hours after he was supposed to have landed is there a number I can call to find out if something happened to him? All I know now is that they have my "emergency contact information" (ie phone number). I have visions of being off on a day trip to the beach with a terrible message waiting for me on the home answering machine, not knowing because no one bothered to call my cell phone.... It would be nice if the company could put out a brochure for families about procedures in this type of situation.
I'm still suprised that we've already had an incident but according to A, I shouldn't be. With the frequency of flying that they do, it's bound to happen sooner or later. And then he regales me with stories of what's happened to other people he knows and I kindly tell him that it's better if I don't know these things.
He's home for a few days now before he heads out to rondeveau with his metal mistress at the end of the week again.