TRANCED-OUT PILOT Doesn’t Remember a Thing!

When Pine Airlines Flight 389 got into trouble just before it was scheduled to begin its initial descent into Detroit, the flight attendants felt sure that the pilot would handle things. 

Then they discovered that the pilot—along with the co-pilot—were intoxicated due to what they described as “laced aspirin.” 

Flight attendants went through the cabin in search of a pilot. That’s when they found Donna Garibaldi, a 31-year-old doctor who was going to visit her sister Annie.

“Donna doesn’t usually like to fly,” said Annie. “She’ll drive or even take the train if she can. But she had to be back to do a surgery on Tuesday.”

Informed of the problem with the flight, Garibaldi stood up from her seat, marched to the cockpit, and confidently landed the Embraer 195, much to the relief of the 148 passengers on board.

And she didn’t remember a thing.

Garibaldi, as it turned out, had been flying hypnotized, an altered state that not only gave her the confidence to take the controls of the Pine Airlines flight but ensured that she would have no memory of the incident.


It all started earlier that day, when Garibaldi was at the Baltimore airport. “I got there early, as usual,” she said. “I’m a little neurotic that way. I was sitting at the gate and I started talking to a man. I’m allowed. I’m single. He was attractive.”

The man told Garibaldi that he was a magician and mentalist. “He had me think of a card and then he guessed it. He made my house keys disappear and reappear in his coat pocket. I guess you could say that we were flirting. I know I made a joke about making my bra disappear.”

Then the man asked Garibaldi if she would let him hypnotize her. She was game. “I was always told that I was a poor candidate. It had something to do with the way I focused on tests. But I told him to try.” 

The next thing she knew, she was returning to her senses on the Detroit tarmac. “I must have been under hypnosis from that moment in the gate through the entire flight,” she said. “If I was fully conscious, I never would have volunteered to land the plane, and I’m also sure I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

“Even when I met her at the airport,” said Annie, “she seemed a little out of it.”


No matter what prepared Garibaldi for her daring landing, officials were happy. “So the lady was hypnotized. So what? We’re all hypnotized in one way or another,” said Lloyd Fedder, the head of air-traffic control at Detroit’s Romulus Field. “Marriage is a form of hypnosis. Capitalism is a form of hypnosis. Sexual pleasure is a form of hypnosis. Philosophy is a form of hypnosis. This lady may have had her brain screwed back in a little weird-like, but she landed the plane and saved lives, and that’s all that matters.”

For her part, Garibaldi says that she is spending most of her time trying to remember the name of the man who she was flirting with in the Baltimore airport. “Was it Vincent? Victor? I’m pretty sure it started with a V. All I know for sure is that when I think of him I have an urge to eat lobster and slip into something more comfortable.”

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