Airienteering with 13MIKE

by Fred J. Calfior and Douglas W. Miller

AirLeg 101

Ref Accident Report 1732117

Dear Sir:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block number one of the accident report, I put poor planning as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed the work, I discovered that I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which, unfortunately, was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the brick into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. After the rope tore through my gloves and severely burned my palms, I must have instinctively tightened my grip even further. You will note in block number eleven of the accident report that I weigh 154 pounds. Due to my surprise in being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and neglected to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the 3rd floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collar bone. I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of the pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel hit the ground and the bottom fell out. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number eleven. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the 3rd floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and lacerations of my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks. I believe that is when I bit off the tip of my tongue and cracked the three left ribs. As for the facial and chest lacerations and broken jaw - I'm sorry to have to say that as I lay there on the bricks, barely conscious, in terrible pain, unable to move let alone stand, looking out of the corner of my eye at the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my presence of mind…and let go of the rope.

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