Angel Maintenance (Episode 419)
First Aired: Wednesday, 2nd April, 2003
Teleplay: Eli Attie and Aaron Sorkin
Story: Eil Attie and Kevin Falls
Director: Jessica Yu











There's A Problem With The Landing Geak
Roosevelt Room / Corridor of the West Wing. Josh meets with the Republicans to discuss Chesapeake Bay, when Donna enters and slips Josh a note.

JOSH: What does Chesapeake mean?
CONGRESSMAN LANDIS: Big shellfish bay. Ever spend any time there?
JOSH: No.
CONGRESSMAN LANDIS: Oh, it's incredibly beautiful.
DONNA: (she indicates the note) Josh.
CONGRESSMAN LANDIS: You ever been there?
DONNA: Chesapeake Bay?
CONGRESSMAN LANDIS: Uh-huh.
DONNA: Nope.
JOSH: (reading the note) There was a fuel spill on the ground at Andrews. They've got to clean it up before he can land.
CONGRESSMAN LANDIS: Man, after an 18 hour flight?
JOSH: Yeah, I'm going to head back to my office--why don't you guys move on to point/non-point source pollution and storm run-off? I'll be back in a few minutes.
(he and Donna exit, but pause outside the door to discuss the Air Force One situation in whispered tones)
JOSH: They're having a problem with the landing gear.
DONNA: I know--I wrote the note.
JOSH: No. You wrote: "There's a problem with the landing geak."
DONNA: They're going to stay up there a while and check it out.
JOSH: Yeah, but they're saying it's nothing though, right?
DONNA: They're saying--yeah, they're saying it's a light.
JOSH: All right. Do me a favour--I want the President to look at the Medicaid rules.
DONNA: I'll fax them up there.
(Two Congressmen approach Josh to talk about their meeting with the President which was cancelled, then start to ask about his meeting with Congressman Landis)
JOSH: Donna ... um--
DONNA: You want me to fax those things?
JOSH: Yeah. And you can try and get CJ on the phone?
DONNA: Yeah. (she hands him back the note) It's an 'r'.
JOSH: It's ... a 'k'.








How Come You Go Out With So Many Republicans?
Josh's Office / Bullpen / Corridors of the West Wing. Josh reads a report, and in the background outside his office, Donna paces back and forth before finally entering.

DONNA: You know what gripes my ass? (Josh almost chokes on the bottle of water he's drinking) How you doing?
JOSH: Good.
DONNA: If anything ever happened to me, chances are it's going to be when I'm sitting next to you and I'm going to be an also-dead. "Senior Bartlet advisor Joshua Lyman killed by a pack of wild dogs ... also dead, Dianne Moss."
JOSH: (looks thoroughly confused) Huh?
DONNA: I'm not feeling useful right now. I think I should know how to do more things here.
JOSH: No one's feeling useful right now.
DONNA: No, you're ... doing things. You're doing something right now. What are you doing right now?
JOSH: What are you doing right now?
DONNA: Nothing--this is my point.
(they leave his office)
JOSH: How come you go out with so many Republicans?
DONNA: I don't.
JOSH: You do. Cliff, Commander Wonderful, Dr Freeride--
DONNA: I don't know--I got a good response to the personal ad I put in Roll Call. "Seeking thirtysomething male into motions to recommit ..." I'm not kidding. I can do more. I want to learn how.
JOSH: (he stares at her for a moment) Do you know how to unlock the landing gear?
DONNA: (sullenly) No.








Why Didn't I Know That Airlift Ops Calls The Plane Angel?
Roosevelt Room / Corridors of the West Wing / Bullpen. Josh and Congressman Landis continue discussions about Chesapeake Bay when Donna enters.

CONGRESSMAN LANDIS: This is not going to get out of committee.
DONNA: I'm sorry.
JOSH: Yes, it will. Now you've got to stay here and you've got to find more offsets, and more ways to bury them.
CONGRESSMAN LANDIS: It's 18 million to clean up Chesapeake Bay. It's nothing. It's watershed management.
JOSH: Yes.
(Josh and Donna exit)
DONNA: Leo wants you to call these numbers of the Congressional black caucus.
JOSH: The black caucus just walked off the Kundu peacekeeping bill.
DONNA: And he'd like you to work with Airlift Ops on Angel maintenance procedures. We're going to need it when they land.
JOSH: What are Angel maintenance procedures?
DONNA: I'm sorry--Angel is the Airlift Operations codeword for Air Force One.
JOSH: I didn't know that.
DONNA: Anyway, CJ's going to be answering questions about maintenance procedures, and she's going to need to be briefed.
JOSH: Why didn't I know that Airlift Ops calls the plane Angel?
DONNA: I'm usually the one who deals with them.
JOSH: All right, well--deal with them now.
DONNA: No, not on this!
JOSH: Yeah.
DONNA: I talk to them about peoples' luggage.
JOSH: Well, we don't have a problem with peoples' luggage tonight. You call your guys at Airlift Ops, tell them they've got to get you ready to educate the press secretary on maintenance procedures as soon as Angel's on the ground.








Sometimes, Lights Don't Work
Corridors of the West Wing. Donna approaches Josh with facts about Air Force One.

DONNA: I was just coming down to see you.
JOSH: I just needed Leo for a second.
DONNA: Angel undergoes maintenance every day, whether the plane's going to be flying or not. Every 154 days, the plane is completely taken apart and put back together again. Twenty-four hours before wheels up, fuel is sealed in a tank truck and guarded by sharpshooters. One hour before wheels up, Air Force specialists drain off a gallon and analyse it for purity and the right levels of octane and water. The wiring--and this is going to be an area--is shielded to protect it from a thermonuclear blast. If you want to sabotage it, you have to get by 48 armed members of the Airlift Security Unit, or join the maintenance crew, which takes 12 years after a two-year background check.
JOSH: The guys you're talking to--what do they think happened?
DONNA: They think a light didn't work.
JOSH: Why?
DONNA: I asked them the same thing.
JOSH: What did they say?
DONNA: That sometimes, lights don't work.
JOSH: Okay.




Many thanks to The West Wing Collection for the wonderful screencaps!