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Waiting for Sand

I understand the phrase “pounding sand” to be a reference to a futile activity, but “waiting for sand” was a new one to me.

This week, while awaiting takeoff of a small commuter plane, we endured a lengthy and unexpected delay.  Finally the explanation was given.

The plane was “unbalanced” and we were light in the tail section.  To correct this they needed to add weight in the back and were waiting for bags of sand to be delivered and loaded onto the plane.

Now if this weight imbalance was a safety issue, then I welcome the delay.  However, if this was done merely to make the plane fly more aerodynamically in order to save fuel, then I’m a bit miffed.

Because of this delay, I missed my connecting flight, as I’m sure was the case with many of my fellow travelers who had even tighter connections then me.

As a result, I understand “waiting for sand” to mean a needless and unwarranted delay.

“Waiting for sand,” seems to be the norm in the airline industry.

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Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.

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