If you travel by air this summer, it’s expected to be stressful.
In addition to usual summer delays caused by frequent thunderstorms, airlines, like other businesses, have been struggling with shortages of workers.
But if airline employees like Envoy Air’s Jorge Manalang are still around, you’ll be in good hands.
Manalang saved the day at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport three years ago. The video of his heroism has again gone viral.
A mechanized beverage carrier designed to service aircraft went out of control when a case of bottled water fell on its accelerator pedal.
The vehicle, appearing much like a large golf cart, began to wildly run in circles, apparently knocking down one ground crew member. With each turn, it came closer to a nearby Embraer 140 passenger jet parked on the ramp.
As workers watched, one of them made risky attempts to climb aboard the beverage carrier, its doors wildly waving, but quickly realized that was too hazardous.
The carrier had the potential to do serious damage to the nearby jet. It was coming close to bashing the front end when a man who apparently was a supervisor waved, either signaling Manalang or telling workers to get back.
Managlang was on a tug, a tractor-like machine designed to push aircraft back from the gate.
Just before the beverage carrier would make another revolution or two and hit the plane, Manalang took just the right aim and smashed his tug into the careening vehicle.
“I traveled real fast, and then on the last turn I thought to myself, ‘you’re mine,'” he told WMAQ.
Bottles tumbled and the beverage carrier came to a stop, flipping over on its side, to the sound of applause from the terminal, where Dr. Kevin Klauer had been videoing the incident.
Crazy event at ORD. Heads up safety move by a ramp worker! pic.twitter.com/SQi5zB0Ooz
— Kevin Klauer DO, EJD (@Emergidoc) September 30, 2019
It was clearly a situation of the right man being in the right place at the right time – Manalag’s duties include teaching safety to novice fleet service workers. With his actions on the tug he emphasized safety in a big way.
“I never stopped for a second to think ‘what was I going to do?’” he said.
Ever the airline professional, Manalag noted that the nearby plane was only 10 minutes late for its departure.
As tugs go, the tractor Manalag used was on the small side. Giant, low-slung tractors used to push back or tow large aircraft are known as “super tugs.”
But that’s probably a new name for the red tractor Manalag used. And people can call the guy who drove it super, too.
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