Trivia Testers : When Something Snaps

Question: Your best friend in the event of an elevator control failure is…

  1. the elevator trim
  2. carefully shifting passengers and baggage
  3. careful power changes
  4. all three

The answer is D. (And also ATC–declare!) Also, just remember that if the elevator is ‘floating’, the trim wheel will work just like the yoke does, but if the elevator is jammed, then the airplane will respond opposite to trim wheel movement. (Editor’s Note: Check out Jeff Pardo’s article ‘Control Failure (Part I): Flying Without Elevators‘).

Subject: Famous First Words

Question: Most people know about the (often mis-quoted) famous first words uttered by mankind on any heavenly body besides earth. They were spoken by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. They were of course ‘That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind’. Right? Wrong! What WERE the REAL ‘first words’?

  1. ‘That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.’ A static burst erased the ‘a’. To this day, Neil Armstrong insists that he said it correctly.
  2. Answer A is correct, with a qualifier. These really were the first words said outside the lunar module. However, the first words uttered in any communication with earth REALLY were: ‘Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.’
  3. Answer B is more correct–sort of–but Neil doesn’t have anything on his fellow astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, who actually was reading off a checklist (those checklists! See? They’re everywhere!) At the time, there was concern that their ship might be swallowed up by a bottomless sea of lunar dust, accumulated over eons of time. No, the first words were ‘Contact light. Thrusters shut down.’
  4. This one isn’t in the official archives. When Neil was a boy, he heard his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Mazur, chewing out her husband: ‘You want oral sex? I’ll give you oral sex–when the boy next door walks on the moon!’ In his own unique and wry humor, Neil actually did say ‘Good luck, Mr. Mazur!’ These were really his first words.

The answer, somewhat disappointingly, is actually C. Choice D is probably urban legend.

Subject: Famous LAST Words

Question: What were Otto Lilienthal’s last words?

  1. My shoe fell off!
  2. Oh, s******* (In German, it’s got eight letters.)
  3. Sacrifices must be made.
  4. You are standing on my arm, hollow-head!

The correct answer is actually, and quite nobly, C.