Monday, 12 September 2011

The law of threes

I'm going to start with a true story.

In 1997, a small team banded together to save a piece of England's history - an aircraft. The XH558 is the last flying Avro Vulcan in the world, and it relies on donations to keep it in the air. To attract people to give these donations, it needs to appear at major airshows around the country. Understandably, these are in the summer when (it's hoped) the weather is at its best.

This year, as with others, the group of volunteers struggled to meet the donation target they needed in order to keep the Vulcan in the air, but they met it. Just.

So, aircraft ready to go. Airshows booked. All looked good.
Strike 1 - they discovered a fuel tank leak.

Despite pulling out all the stops to fix this leak and ensure the aircraft was safe to fly once more, they still missed some major airshows. These airshows have massive attendance figures, and would have given the aircraft great exposure.

Never mind. Still a few major airshows to go. Fuel tank fixed, aircraft ready. Great!

Strike 2 - while running through a practice display, they encountered a hydraulic fault and had to land at a nearby RAF base.

After investigating the fault, it was clear no one was going to see the Vulcan at the next airshow either. Another major show missed - again one that could bring the aircraft great exposure and donations for the following year.

Well, OK, so there was another show the following weekend. Try again. Again, all stops were pulled out to fix the aircraft, and, again, they triumphed. The Vulcan was ready to fly on Saturday 3rd September.

Guess what?

Strike 3 - the weather was too bad for the plane to fly.

Why does bad luck tend to come in threes? You can almost count them off, can't you? Once I have two bad things happen, I'm on the alert for the third.

Anyone else experienced the law of threes? Do you feel a bit of relief once the third piece of bad luck has hit you, figuring that should about do it?

If anyone feels like offsetting the incredible run of bad luck the XH558 team have experienced this year, their site is here, and I'm sure they'd appreciate the support.

(N.B. On Saturday 10th (just gone), the Vulcan displayed at RAF Leuchars without incident and to massive applause. What was I saying about the law of threes?)


Creepy Query Girl said...

If it makes you feel better, I heard good luck comes in threes too:) Sorry about the air show:( Glad I discovered your blog though!:)

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm sorry to hear they weren't able to fly for the airshow!

I've never come across the law of threes that I can think of . . . knock on wood. :P

C D Meetens said...

Query Girl: I think I'll have to remember that about good luck coming in threes - that would balance things out nicely! Thanks for following :).

Eagle: It's a lovely aircraft, and it's looked after by the people, not the RAF, which is why I feel for the team behind it. I also think you're very lucky, and could you push some of that luck my way, please ;)?

blackwoodsforest said...

Those poor volunteers! And, yes, crap always happens in threes. No idea why. I'm not by nature superstitious, but I've noticed this... oddness before. ::shruggs:

C D Meetens said...

Maybe it's one of nature's patterns trying to keep us on our toes ;).

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