Aviation Short Story

Hey IFC!
For English, I am required to write a short story creative piece about anything. Now being me I chose to do it about aviation. Could some please read my story and give me some CONSTRUCTIVE feedback.
Rules:

  • Cannot be more than 1000 words (it’s currently at that).

  • Must be readable by the general public, e.g. can’t say APU without explaining the acronym.

Story:

Mark Hawk opened his eyes in the hospital room, there was a slightly annoying beeping sound coming from beside him. When he turned to the irritating sound and finally was Abe to focus his eyes he knew it, he was in a hospital but why, why was he here? Quickly a nurse shuttled into the room.

“Hello sir" she said.

He responded, “Hey, are… why am I in hospital”.

The nurse quickly told him about the serious car accident of which he was involved and that he had some significant memory problems. She also said that there were two men from CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) here to take a test on him. Seconds later they arrived, they explained that due to his injuries he would have to take a test to see if he was able to continue flying, he accepted and was given the test. It was only a few questions of which were incredibly basic like, what the airspeed indicator display? Obviously this only took him and few minutes to successfully complete the test and so he was given back his ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot License, medical, wings and his rank as a Captain. It took a few more hours but finally, the hospital discharged Captain Hawk.

On the way home, he decided to visit Qantas, his airline to confirm to them that he was legally able to fly. Upon entering Qantas headquarters, he took the lift the third floor and went into a room of which was overlook about 200 people looking over every single Qantas flight in the world. He quickly found Matt Hanks who was the operations manager and the person who scheduled all his flights. About an hour later, long after Captain Hawk had expected, he finally left the building reflecting on what had been said, Qantas high recommends taking a break but if the Captain wishes, he can fly but with a senior F/O (First Officer). Captain Hawk agreed that he should rest but also knew that he needed the money for his family and so went home to get a good nights rest for the flight the next day.

The next morning at 0500, he received a text from Mr Hanks saying “0635 block off with VH-VXD from SYD to MEL with senior F/O Skies”.

After a few hours of getting ready and driving to work, Captain Hawk finally made it to the flight briefing from where the crews got to know each other and talk about the following flight before going to Sydney airport terminal 3. They all get through security and make it to their aircraft, a beautiful Boeing 737-838 with the stylish airline name proudly painted on the fuselage. When that get on board the aircraft, Captain Hawk requests F/O Skies to do a walk around of the aircraft making sure everything is in perfect condition while he started with the preflight work. Just after F/O Skies left the cockpit, Captain Hawk realises that he can’t remember how to actually complete the work and remember the doctor saying “it is likely that some of your memory will be absent but only for a few days”. With this in mind, Captain Hawk got out the checklists and QRF (Quick Reference Handbook) and somehow managed to complete what was required. F/O Skies finally came back into the cockpit with the good news and said “I know Qantas said that I had to be here but do you want to do the flying and I’ll do the radios” to which the Captain agreed.

A while later with all the passengers finally boarded and with their push then taxi clearance, they made their way at a slow 15kts (28km/h) GS (Ground Speed) to RWY 16L (Runway 1 6 Left).

Finally after making their way to the hold short line, they switched ATC (Air Traffic Control) frequencies to TWR (Tower) and were happily welcome with “Qantas 123, winds are 344@10kts (344 degrees at 10kts), RWY 16L cleared for takeoff” to which F/O Skies calmly responded “RWY 16L cleared for takeoff, Qantas 123”.

And with that done, Captain Hawk pushed the two thrust levers to 50% then seconds later to 80%, they were off! Seconds later F/O commanded “80kts” to which Captain Hawk replied “80kts check”.

When the 737 got up to 130kts which was their rotate (takeoff/) speed, F/O Skies said “rotate” but Captain Hawks thought was using him turn vertically to compensate for wind and so he turned the control column right to be heading into the wind. F/O Skies became very confused because he was looking at his PFD (Primary Flight Display) and wasn’t seeing them going up and so he kept commanding “ROTATE”. With no vertical climb response, F/O Skies took over the controls even though he knew he wasn’t the one flying and therefore wasn’t allowed to touch the control column. He pulled the control column back so they could climb and to which they did but they immediately started to bank excessively. Then soundly the GWPS (Ground Proximity Warning System) and alarms started shouting “PULL UP, TERRAIN, DON’T SINK, PULL UP, TOO LOW TERRAIN, TOO LOW FLAPS, SINK RATE, PULL UP!” Immediately F/O Skies tried to pull the control column up as much as he could before the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) also started shouting “TRAFFIC, PULL UP”!

For the first time, F/O Skies, looked up from his PFD to see them diving straight towards a Qantas A330 who was landing on the RWY beside them. He desperately tried to turn the aircraft but they both knew it was over. At 0655, going at 170kts and descending at 1500ft/minute the Boeing 737-838 smashed into the A330 of which had just touched down instantly killing all of the 440 passengers including the seven crew members on the 737 and 10 crew members on the Virign Australia A330.

Feel free to rate my story, when wiritng you feedback.

  • Great!
  • Pretty good
  • Not bad
  • Ok
  • Could be better
  • Definitely needs improvement
  • Just restart the thing!

0 voters

Thanks so much!

2 Likes

“Why am I in the hospital?”

I read this too fast so im not sure if there’s any more mistakes. I guess you don’t have to use too much jargon, try to make it simple.

1 Like

You need to read it properly for context, (I hope)!.

Not bad but maybe Change your ending so it isn’t tragic. Plus it could scare your classmates away from flying. but keep up the good work

2 Likes

This is only going to be seen by a few classmates for editing and the teacher but I totally understand since they wouldn’t understand how that couldn’t possibly happen. About the tragic ending, I mean if I had another/better option then I would but I fear that if I did change that much then I’d go over the word limit.
Thanks for your feedback anyway!

Its… interesting to say the least

1 Like

Love the story seen a few of these on insta haha

Great start!

If I may:

Mark Hawk opened his eyes. He felt groggy. There was a slightly annoying beeping sound coming from beside him. When he turned to the irritating sound and finally was able to focus his eyes he knew it. He was in a hospital but why, why was he here?

Not immediately giving away the location builds a bit of suspense.
You make the reader wonder the same thing as the subject.

I did find some mistakes.

There are 95 minutes between those two times.
So, “After a few hours” means too much times has gone by to make 0635.

“QRF (Quick Reference Handbook)”
Should be QRH.

Rudder is used to compensate for crosswind during takeoff. Not the control column. A pilot with memory issues wouldn’t forget that.

Where did the A330 come from?
An approach into a runway that’s being used for departures into the opposite direction doesn’t make sense.

There are many grammatical errors in the text as well.

I do like the buildup thought.
This story, with some changes, does have potential.

So although it does need work, it’s a great start!

Hope this helps!

1 Like

Where did this Virgin Australia A330 come from?

Diving straight towards a Qantas A330 who was landing on the RWY beside them. It does say

So all passengers on the Qantas 737 and A330 died,but where did the Virgin A330 come from?

1 Like

The A330 was landing on the runway beside them.

Maybe make that clearer then?

Not the best in writing, but this is my personal feedback:

Try and start it with a “When” rather than just skipping straight to his name.

This reads like dialogue more than from the third person which your story is being told. There’s no need for the two "why"s.

I’m not too sure about this, but shouldn’t doctors be examining him to check for damage? If he was under the entire time they would only be able to predict not diagnose memory issues for a knock to the head.

When talking about a name (even though it’s an acronym), it should be “two men from the CASA”

That’s a pretty long description for ATPL! Same as above, I don’t think they would release someone with a head injury that quickly, especially considering it was a serious accident.

It should be “overlooking”, but the use of “looking over” immediately after that is a tad weird. Try “monitoring” instead?

It’s a bit unrealistic to go straight from the hospital to a plane the next day.

You could expand on this a little, personalise the dialogue and throw a few flags up. Have it something like “I’d still recommend you rest. We’ve put you on the 6.35 flight to Melbourne tomorrow morning, but you’re free to back out at any time if you don’t feel like it. Head injuries are no joke, do reconsider.”

It’s “got” through and “made” it to their aircraft.

When “they” “got” on board.

I’ll stop correcting grammar mistakes here on out as there are quite a few, and I’m assuming you’re going to fix them before submission.

You always go through the checklists to be safe. Doing everything by memory leaves too much at stake, especially with how long some lists are.

Too many acronyms here, they completely destroy the flow of the sentence. I know you’re an enthusiast and would like to put more terms in, but try and strike a balance here. Plus, “Runway 1 6 left” is how it’s said but the actual meaning is referring to them together, as sixteen. I’d have it as “they crawled slowly and lined up on Runway 16 Left.”

Same issue here. Reads more like a manual than a story.

A bit too much information here that’s not needed in the story.

I’m a little confused by this bit. He thought he was compensating for wind while the F/O was doing the rotation, so he yanked the yoke right to turn the plane? You normally use rudder and very slight aileron to compensate, lest you want an impromptu meeting of wingtip and ground.

You are allowed to do that, but I think you must first must make it clear that you’re now flying. Normally this is done by a short “I have control” to let the other pilot know. You can make it clear here as well that Hawk was still holding on to the stick by him feeling the yoke trying to turn. The yokes on the 737 are coupled and both pilot’s sticks mirror the other with feedback.

Same thing with the acronyms here. It would read better if you had them being pummelled by the warnings without explaining to us what they were, to introduce the sense of panic and fear the pilots had.

(Also GPWS is inhibited when the gear is down, it wouldn’t go off)

Landing on the runway beside them. The abbreviation serves no purpose here.

“Fighting the aircraft all the way to the ground, he soon succumbed to his fate. In a majestic dance of death, the plane swooped down, hitting the other plane at over 500 km/h combined. Shattering windows miles away, the huge black cloud soon confirmed to shocked observers their worst feelings- there was nothing left of the two planes but a burning mess.”

Sorry I can’t give more detailed feedback, but I do hope this little bit would help:)

2 Likes

Ok firstly thank you for the feedback, second, it’s not meant to be realistic as I wanted a plane crash since I didn’t have a high enough word count and making it unrealistic is an english technique I’m using plus I just want to make sure that the other students and my teacher knows that this would happen in real life.
Thanks again for the feedback.

THANK YOU everyone who wrote me feedback, now I have the fun task of fixing up my work in class! I’ll try to send you a copy to edit just before it’s due.
Thanks again so much everyone!

I’m not too sure about this, but shouldn’t doctors be examining him to check for damage? Yes doctors do that, that’s why I specifically mentioned nurse. Thanks for it all, I’ll going through it now.

Closed on request by the OP.