Aboard the Air Force One


I natter around alot. In conversations, on the internet and in my mind. So I wondered what it is like to fly aboard the Air Force One ( the official carrier of the President of The United States of America). Guess what? Some people who had worked with him, who were not staff of the Presidency or cabin crew did have some things to say. Intriguing, I must say.

Air Force One Mini Series:  On Board Air Force One
NGCUS  - Ep Code: 4206

Here’s an excerpt from my reading:

Peter Marquez, Space policy geek.

It’s awesome. I only got to fly on her once. I really wish some other former White House staff would answer some of these questions- I know A LOT of other people flew on AF1 and have much better information than I have.

The staff is amazing and after flying on AF1 you will NEVER want to fly commercial again. The experience starts before you even get on the plane.  You are transported from the White House to Andrews and you get to drive right up to the airplane and leave the vehicle and walk up into the plane.  (Only the president and his close staff get the Marine 1 transport to Andrews)

It’s very comfortable- huge seats, desks and tables for working. A full conference room with flat screens and video teleconferencing capability. There’s a computer room with Internet access.

One of the greatest things about AF1 has nothing to do with the aircraft itself– it’s the people that make AF1 run.  All of the AF1 staff appear to really enjoy their jobs and they take great pride in their work.  It definitely appeared that none of them took this great opportunity for granted.  They are also well versed in the history of AF1 and can tell you stories about all the previous AF1s.

The trip I was on was very short.  We were flying from DC to Kennedy Space Center for a speech President Obama was giving.   During the flight I had been helping to work and rework a speech the President was about to give. He kept coming out of his cabin with more edits and changes.  After another round of edits from the boss an attendant looked at me and asked if I needed anything. I jokingly said, “Yes, a nice strong drink. Preferably a single malt” (it was about 9 or 10AM). Without pausing the attendant asks, “what brand and what year?” I had to tell him I was joking.

In addition to my colleagues and a few members of Congress we also had Buzz Aldrin on the flight.  Dr. Aldrin was seated next to me at our table and he starts to get a bit fidgety, he looks around, and he says, “You wanna go take a look around?”

So I stop working for a minute and Dr. Aldrin and I start checking out AF1.  We make it over to the stairs that lead to the upper deck and cockpit and one of the staff members asks if we want to head upstairs and check out the cockpit.  Dr. Aldrin got a big smile on his face and looked at me- we were both smiling like little kids.  Did we want to see the cockpit of AF1? Seriously? You have to ask?

So Dr. Aldrin and I make it up to the flight deck and all of the Air Force officers are in awe of this moon walker and here’s Buzz Aldrin happy as a little kid because he’s hanging out in the cockpit of AF1.  Dr. Aldrin goes into the cockpit and I stand outside of it with my head sticking through the doorway.  So here I am- essentially a nobody and I’m hanging out in the cockpit of AF1, with the pilots, while AF1 is in flight, and I’m with Buzz Aldrin.  Somewhere back in time the 10 year old version of me was saying, “You have got to be kidding me…”

It was way too short of a flight. But just a couple of more interesting bits.

First, as we started to descend I instinctively went back to my seat and buckled up.  But I noticed a lot of the other “frequent flyers” were still up and walking around.  So I asked one of them, “When are we supposed to sit down?”  They just kind of laughed at my “noob question” and said something to the effect of– “You don’t really have to sit down at all just watch how the pilot lands this thing.”  So people were still up and walking around as the plane landed. For someone who had only flown commercial it was a fascinating to me for some reason.  Sure enough- the pilot put her down like a feather and came to a gentle stop. Second, we landed on the space shuttle runway.

Another thing that blew my mind.  Of course we were going to an event at Kennedy Space Center so the closest runway is the space shuttle runway- but landing in AF1 on the space shuttle runway was more mind blowing then not having to sit down during landing.

Finally, you get a bill for the food you eat on AF1 (this may be the only thing AF1 has in common with United).  Since you are eating a meal on AF1 you are doing so at taxpayer expense.  This means you have to reimburse the government for whatever you ate.  That’s completely fair and the right thing to do but it’s something you wouldn’t immediately consider when flying on AF1.  So about a week after my AF1 flight I got a bill sent to me for the lunch I ate on AF1.  That bill made for a great souvenir.

One more thing- if you make a phone call from AF1 it’s routed through a couple of operators who sit up on the flight deck.  They make the outgoing call for you and then they connect you to the person once they make the call.  The cool part is that when they call person for you they say something to the effect of (my memory is a bit fuzzy here), “This is Air Force One, we have a call from <whatever your name is> can you hold while I connect you?” I think just receiving a call from AF1 would be amazing.

 

Jim Long , veteran, Washington, DC based, network news cameraman.

I occasionally fly on Air Force One as part of my job covering the White House as a network news cameraman for NBC.  The best part of traveling on Air Force One is walking on and walking off the plane.  That’s where the adventure is.  You’ve landed and you have to run to your motorcade vehicle – for us it’s “Camera 1” – or you’re boarding the plane, about to embark on a global journey, sometimes a very secret one.

 

I’ve had some memorable flights on the plane.  I’ve done interviews with Presidents on the plane, one while in-flight, with Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams. On a trip to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, we had 41, 42, and 43 on board. I was on the aircraft when Katrina hit New Orleans.  I remember them calling AP photographer Susan Walsh up to the front cabin to take the picture of Bush peering down at the disaster below. The staff is wonderful.  The even treat the press well! We are relegated to the aft of the aircraft and occasionally the President will come back to speak with the us.  The flying part is just flying, but on AF1 you’re always part of history in the making.  That’s pretty cool.

katrina

 

Joe Lockhart, Former White House Press Secretary

Without a doubt, the best plane in the world to fly on.  First and most importantly, you feel absolutely safe.  No matter how bad the weather conditions or turbulence you always have the feeling that, because the President of the United States in onboard, nothing bad can happen.  It’s the best pilots, the best maintained and crewed airplane in the world.  And, there are no delays or lost luggage. It’s also quite comfortable. A commercial 747 normally seats several hundred people.  The normal Air Force One flight generally has about 50-60 people on board.  While it’s not outfitted like some billionaires private jet, there is plenty of room and plenty of room to work — which is what most people are doing most of the time on the plane. There are a variety of other perks, great movies(although i don’t recommend Air Force One while on Air Force One), getting to watch yourself land on live TV and lots of things with the Air Force One branding that magically disappear each flight. But without a doubt, the best part is who you are traveling with.  My favorite scene was the senior staff cabin one trip with Presidents Bush and President Ford asleep in their seats and President Carter asleep stretched out on the floor.

Rakesh Agrawal, 4 MM frequent flier miles and counting

It depends on who you are: the President and family, invited dignitaries, White House staff, Secret Service or press. All have different experiences. The big advantages of flying on Air Force One:

  • Hobnobbing with power players. By definition, Air Force One is a plane with the President on it. There are many aircraft that have been used as Air Force One. Currently, there are two VC-25s (essentially heavily modified 747s) that serve as Air Force One. There are usually other top aides and members of the press.
  • Don’t have to deal with the TSA (the Nigerian version is NAHCO), though you do have to deal with the Secret Service.
  • Priority landing.
  • The big downside is that if you’re on the plane, you’re probably working.

7 countries in 7 days


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover’’

– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 

I never for once considered myself as a well-travelled individual. I’ve been to a few cities albeit common and not so exciting; London, Paris, New York, Dubai, Dublin and the list goes on. I developed a soft spot for all afore mentioned cities, but if you told me you were going to any of these for vacation I would literally squint at you till you get the message (Yo, im not saying I won’t go if offered o).

 

Summer 2015 I decided to do something different, I got an idea to visit more than 7 countries in the space of 7 nights. Crazy Crazy Crazy!! What was I thinking, how could I afford such? How much do I even have as savings? Before I go on, my uncle always said a knowledgeable man is a powerful man, if you don’t ask questions you will never know.

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So here we go, I got an idea to go on a boat cruise with friends touring the eastern Caribbean countries. My itinerary looked something like this:

Lagos – Houston – Fort Lauderdale-Bahamas- St.Thomas -St.Marteen – Eleuthera – Barbados – Jamaica – Fort Lauderdale – Houston – Maryland – Lagos.

 

  1. Lagos – Houston: I was all too familiar with this route, standard 12 hour flight to George W Bush Airport Houston. At the time, United Airline was the only carrier that offered this direct flight to Houston, pretty long flight but relatively stress free.
  2. Houston – Fort Lauderdale: The fun actually began here, 2 hour airport wait went by so fast. Flew united to Florida, upon landing the pilot couldn’t ‘’taxi’’ because there was a thunderstorm and appaz it’s a health & safety hazard because someone got hit by lightening the previous week. Well, this was no problem till I realized I had just 45 mins left to catch the ship.
  3. Fort Lauderdale: America is really beautiful. It trips me knowing that all states are almost as equal in development, unlike most African countries where civilization and development is centered in the capital. We need CHANGE!

Major key 1: To embark on the cruise, all you need is an American Visa, that covers all countries visited.

Take a deep breathe now, and gush at the ‘canoe’ I used in visiting 7 countries:

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  1. Port le Fort Lauderdale: The first thing that catches you is the size of the ship. The Oasis beats the Titanic in every dimension. The titanic was around 46,000gt, carrying about 3547 passengers and crew (credits to google) while the oasis measures 225,000gt (5 times bigger than Titanic!!) and can carry a maximum of 8,471 passengers on 17 deck. Yes 17 story building on water.

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Major key 2 : Tickets for the cruise are booked months in advance for best rates and do NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT AT HOME.

Check in: the check-in process is very straightforward, there are literally no queues and once you board the ship, it’s literally an entirely different world. You are given a smart card that serves as your ATM card on the ship, access card to your room and has all other personal details. Minority report kinda stuff.Forgot to mention.

IMG-20160816-WA027IMG-20160816-WA026Fort Lauderdale – Bahamas: Nassau was the first stop, it took us about 10-15 hours from the port and you wake up to scenes of the sun rising over the great city of Atlantis.

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Nassau, Bahamas: I’ve heard so many great things of this city, unfortunately as a tourist entering via the port. You aren’t allowed to go beyond the tourist areas, sort of like a high street where tourists are entertained. There are no physical restrictions against going beyond this high street, but you are sternly advised not to, to prevent harassment from the locals.Nassau has semblances to Lagos Airport, upon arrival at the port you are greeted with a host of locals who are trying to hustle you to patronize them. Tourism is their major source of revenue. And weed of course.

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I have a long list of countries I would want to visit next. I’ve learnt not to bother spending a lot for cliché trips……….

if you want to see more of travel related posts, click here.

Tale of 6 Beings. (fiction)


Decided to try my hands on fiction. Not as easy as I expected. After a full day, I came up with this.
Views and ratings appreciated.

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My name is Pam, and I’m a murderer.

tale

 
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“Oh yes, yes Caro..!! I love being here!! Punish me for coming late”. These were the words from MD’s lips while he was with his mistress. She pleasured him with dominating and fetish sessions. Whips, cuffs, balls, uniforms, name it. MD was a masochist. Pain brought pleasure to him, especially sexually. He was the opposite of Christian Grey. While Christian loved to inflict pain for pleasure, MD gets pain for pleasure. And his mistress knows how well to do that, and gets paid handsomely.

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She’s a random youth corper, who was raped at a tender age. So Caro’s idea of enjoying copulation was seeing her partner in pain. That helps relieve the bad thoughts she gets when she re-lives the first time she met a man’s nakedness; the agony, pain and shame brought by her sister’s husband while she was in high school. After some time, Caro adapts and finds a stable man, who she can exhibit her Sadist ways, and get paid. They both get ecstatic with cocaine, which she knows how to get regularly. This day, she takes some alone, and needs Andrew liver salt to relive her, thus she rushes to Madam’s super mart.

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She jumps anytime she hears the honk of his car. No matter the bone in her mouth, or the football she’s playing with. Eiffel is a white fluffy Lhasa. She’s barely ever chained down, except when the house is being fumigated. Her feeding bowl even has her name on it. So in one word, Eiffel is a pompous dog.

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Madam was a submissive. Even days after her wedding to MD, they didn’t make love. She was too timid, totally inexperienced in sexual matters. She laid plainly as MD took her virginity. Till date, she bores him sexually. He’s lost every iota of interest in her. She runs her supermarket and MD’s gas station. She did nothing after her polytechnic days, not even youth service. That explains why she adores the corper who comes often to restock. She gives her everything free, and also ensures she gets fuel for her small Volkswagen Golf when there is scarcity or a very long Que. She’s philanthropic in her own way.

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He was employed to keep the staff of the super mart and gas station in order. He sometimes escorts the truck that brings diesel and supplies. He only knows his boss as Madam. Godspower never fancied marriage but he hopes to have many concubines and a child. Madam sends him to drop Caro home as she did not look too good.

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On that fine day, Godspower dropped her home, helped her inside, only to discover cocaine smeared on the table. Caro broke a major rule of the drug world: never get high on your supply. As a law enforcement agent, she has to pay for this. Either in cash or in kind, or face the law. How else, if not, by sex. Too stoned, the reputed dominant laid back lazily while Godspower took carnal knowledge of her.

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“I’m serious, it’s your baby. I’ve said this repeatedly in the last 6 months” She said to MD, with a heavy, protruding tummy. She needed someone rich and comfortable to take care of her unborn baby, as Godspower would not give the child the life she desires. Caro kept paying and paying for the mistake she made, and it resulted to a developing fetus. Godspower won’t let go, thus someone like MD can silence him. MD calls the unknown sergeant to leave his mistress alone, while he goes home to break the news to Madam. Madam is infuriated, especially when she knows the identity of this mistress. The same Caro she has been nice to all the while. She starts shouting and sends MD out of the house. MD gets in the Cadillac Escalade SUV. Pompous Eiffel is playing as usual, as the tires of the SUV killed it. MD doesn’t even notice, as he dashes out. Caro, ever willing to satisfy her only benefactor, decides to give him a treat, as he seems so pressured up. She ties him, hands and legs, standing, and stuffs her panties in him mouth. The sensation is too much, and his jerking motion for her to stop felt like orgasm, barely did she know he was passing out. Her hands did the wonders on him. They had both gone beyond limits. Meanwhile, Godspower, after the threat, loads his government empowered gun, and goes to meet Caro. Meets her with the lifeless body of MD. She begs to pay in kind, as usual, but forever this time around. But Godspower decides to be a loyal officer of the law and arrest her. A fight it becomes, and a shot springs out. Godspower has been accidentally shot, in the neck region, below the ears, containing a major artery, a ‘no choice but death’ situation. The police, after several futile calls to Madam, decide to go to her house. A lifeless body hanging from the ceiling. The whole drama makes Caro fall into a coma, in which the doctors decided to take out the baby to salvage the situation. A cut into her tummy, little Pam is brought out, however her mum died in the coma.

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So if I say I’m a murderer, would you accept? My birth brought about 5 deaths. My name is Pam, and this is my story.

me,MYSELF and i


This post is about me.I basically asked some friends to ask me 11 random question. Their pictures are included,so link their stories to their faces.

Now let’s talk of the buddy. He BIMBO KASALI. I’ve made 101 good,trusted and no-matter-what friends. But really,what makes Bimbo quite different is that he’s dependable and reliable. As long as its possible,no matter how hard, dude’s got my back. Broken down car, empty wallet, help drop off my sister, pick me from the airport,anything…

omobaArc. Kasali 👑

So yes,he got a chance( like hell,yess) to ask me 11 questions:

1. What do you find attractive in a lady?
– Brains. Light skin. Loud red rubywoo lipstick.

2. What is your dream job?
– My own business abeg.

3. What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?
– uhm, I guess Blue de Chanel perfume from Tosin Olusemire. She made me d perfume freak I am today.

4. What country would you rather settle down?
– Naija. Nigeria. Abuja for living,lagos for chilling. But Nigeria all the way.

5.Can you stick to one lady?
– seriously?

6. What’s your dream car?
– At the minimum, a German SUV, Japanese Salon car and Italian sport car..all at once…that’s my dream car.

7. What did you do last night.
– Got back from work with so much pressure and stress. Had a little fruit n’ fiber,slept mehn. Being an auditor ain’t easy.

8. How do you choose your friends?
– How did I choose u,dummy!! Yall just wanna associate with me #inmycockyvoice.

9. What do you like most about yourself?
– Lips. Voice. Enthusiasm for business.

10. Who is your celebrity crush?
– Used to think its a dumb thing until I started crushing on Rihanna.

11. What’s your worst fear?
– That I’ll marry someone totally different from what I’ve always bragged about. Not like a fear though, more like something I know that might not just happen.

Over to the next.
Adedolapo Balogun. One line describes her :next to perfect. She’s got all the BIPS(read post on ‘what men want’) and then she completes my sapiosexual nature(attraction to intelligent people). Need I say more? Below are her questions and my answers:
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1.What is the first thing you notice when you meet a person?
– A lady? Everything I see in caro. A man? I see nothing. An elderly person?charisma

2.What picks your interest?
– Cars and business.

3.How do you intend to improve the society?
-Write and talk as many people as possible to know what’s helped me,and what’s just the wrong(or not-the-best) path.

4.Who do you think or know you are?
– Scroll up, and you’ll find a post called ’11 shades of me’ (https://thatafricankid.wordpress.com/11-shades-of-me/)

5.You favorite past-time
-NYSC days….babes, cook n burn my meals, get so broke ,clothing line, no responsibilities, yebo……memoirs of life.

6.You view on politics?
– Nigeria is a real definition of politics.

7.How do you relax or unwind?
– Company of my male friends. Anywhere,anything. And an unplanned journey,good car and free road.

8.The last event you attended?
– Sterling bank beginning of the year party ,invitation by Ademola Ojebiyi.

9.What did you pray about this morning?
– Open my eyes lord to the right woman, no more wasting of emotions and resources.

10.How do you ensure you are fit and healthy?
– I have ice cream and junk just once a week. That’s fair enough,ask someone who knows me well, I’ve reduced.

11. What don’t you like you girl doing?
– Getting so relaxed and not bring any spice to the table. I’m still hot ,and readily up-for-grabs if she doesn’t tighten the knots.