Unmanned Passenger Flight Crashes

Public Domain image by George Johnson. Available at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/Plane_crash.jpg

A test flight of an unmanned American Airlines drone crashed last night while flying over Las Vegas. The flight was originally going to carry 21 passengers, but all of them cancelled at the last minute due to supposedly coincidental schedule conflicts.1

At the time of the crash, air traffic controllers were trying to dissuade the drone from its intended path to a top casino whose identity will remain eponymous,2 but the plane seemed determined to “cash in” by any means possible. When they sent in the air police—sirens, flashing lights, and all—the drone exhibited some extremely clever manoeuvers and even escaped the mile-wide net they stretched out in its path. But ultimately, it swerved too far and hit the tip of the Stratosphere Tower with its wing, plummeting to the earth below. None of the passengers were harmed.

Firemen recovered the black box once the smoke cleared from the burning drone. They also put up loads of Caution Tape™, apparently to make the scene look more dramatic. An entrepreneurial bystander quickly set up a booth to charge visitors an arm and a leg to get inside the Caution Tape™ and see the damage for themselves.

The black box, which happens to be orange, revealed a deep inner struggle between the drone and itself, as it argued over who would get to play the slot machines first and how much each would get to spend. Psychologists posit that the drone must have had a clinical gambling addiction, but there is no record of its having ever been a member of Aeroplanes Anonymous or any similar support group.

Most alarming, however, was the fact that there was an unspilled cup of coffee in the cockpit’s cup-holder, despite the fact that the drone landed upside-down in the crash. Unfortunately, no physicists were available3 to analyse the gravitational field surrounding the coffee cup. There was, however, puke all over the floor.

If you happen to be in Vegas, you can get a closer look at the drone if you pay the man in the striped pants $20 (£16.02).

  1. Apparently, passengers sometimes overbook themselves, just like the airlines do. Fancy that!
  2. No, I don’t mean “anonymous.”
  3. Apparently physicists don’t hang out in Vegas, except when there’s a professional conference.

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