Weighed Down

During a business trip to Boeing’s Everett, Wash., factory, I noticed several 747 and 777 airliners being assembled. Before the engines were installed, huge weights were hung from the wings to keep the planes balanced. The solid-steel weights were bright yellow and marked “14,000 lbs.” But what I found particularly interesting was some stenciling I discovered on the side of each weight. Imprinted there was the warning: “Remove before flight.”