Last, and case to say, never again!
As the final chapter of our African Countries series, we were going to do 2 films in Mozambique, 1 for UNICEF.
We had a special agreement with LAM, because in fact, we had a total of 900 Kgs. of luggage (not counting the Cameras, on hand luggage...).
So, we boarded the DC-10 on the early evening. As I said before, I knew most of the LAM Captains, for the many flights I did with them operation for TACV Cape Verde Airways. But this time, the had a Tanzanian Captain, in fact one of the most experient and most senior.
We were stationed in the Military Airport, as the rest of Lisbon was very full, as there was the formula 1 races next day.
Pushed back, start the engines, started to taxi, but when the Captain applied slightly the brakes, there was a clinking noise, and I understood there was something fishy again! the plane stopped, and the Captain announced with a very calm and profound voice: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to return to our initial position". Engines off, and pushback to the same place.
Behind us, there was Captain Higino I knew well. He went to the cockpit and said privately: "There is a problem this Captain will never fly unless it's 100% ok"...
So we waited. Dinner was served, and me and my crew were spending our time telling jokes and laughing! Because there was nothing else to do, some of the (very pretty) Cabin Attendants joined us in the good laughs. People inside the airplane were getting very upset. Then, suddenly, the LAM Local Director came and announced there was a fault with the Airplane, they needed some replacement parts, not available in Lisbon, and they had to be flown from Paris, France. They were deciding what to do, as ALL of the Hotels in Lisbon where full, because of the Formula 1!
Finally, and after 7 long hours on the ground they decided to let us disembark. My Producer, still joking, went to the Stewardess just in front of us and said, with a very serious face: "Madam, this is a very serious affair: Imagine I go home now, after all this time, and find my Wife with another man? Of course I will have to kill him, and who would be responsible, the Airline?" She believe him, and got quite worried...
Now, the more serious part... Next day, exactly 24 hours later after the original schedule, we boarded the DC-10 again. Important to say, ALL our luggage was left on-board, even the carry-ons. (remember, this was on the military terminal, and the plane was guarded by armed AF soldiers...)
When we arrived at our seats, our Cabin Attendant, now friend was in a very very bad mood!
We asked what happened to her? She said some stupid fool brought acid on the luggage, the acid spilled and both her and some of her colleagues hull bags where with deep holes, and most of the contents destroyed by the acid!
Poor woman, she didn't know!
But I did! There was an hydraulic leak, the fluid is like acid, extremely corrosive. In fact, that was the reason some of the DC-10's crashed! Of course I didn't tell anybody, but I was the 10 hours of flight until Mozambique worried, wondering with the TAP Maintenance who did the repair were so good as their fame!
They were, it was a great flight, and no problems on the return, over 1 month later!...