Fri, Sep 14, 2018 — At a major U.S. airport on a recent dark early morning, two major airline mechanics reported for work. Their job: To “wake up” the airplanes at the gate, in the dark, to get them ready for the day’s service. This requires activating and checking various systems on each airplane so that a “dark” airplane “awakes” from its overnight sleeping. Lights turn on, systems are activated, and everything is checked for the first flights of the day. One recent morning, however, this routine changed. The two mechanics indeed performed their required duties. Except this morning, they decided to scour the gate area for families with young children -- sleepy and crabby in the early morning dark -- and asked their parents if the kids could help “wake” the airplanes. The kids jumped at the chance. One mechanic in the terminal handed his radio to the kids, and had them say “wake up airplane” to the other mechanic, waiting on the plane. Lo and behold, like magic, the airplane came alive – lights glistening in the pre-dawn darkness, now “awake” for the day’s service. The kids, of course, were thrilled: They got a chance to talk to the mechanics, and a taste of the airplane business (which might motivate some of them to join the industry someday). Incidentally, this is now a ritual that these mechanics engage in on a daily basis.