Monday, November 14, 2005

Stormy Flight

I had the sensation that the plane's rear end was fishtailing in the clouds, and it made a series of unplanned drops. I wanted the descent to be over, to stop the 9-passenger jet's shaking and bumping, but I didn't want it to end any sooner than the pilots had planned. I cranked up the volume on my Rio mp3 player, the sounds of No Doubt's "Don't Let Me Down" drowning out all others.
Laughing so hard
I got tears in my eyes
Walk in the park
Under sapphire skies
Just when things had smoothed out during our final turn toward the runway, it got rough again as we got down to about 200 feet.
Oh, I can't believe that you're still around
Almost forgot how you let me down
There was still a slight tilt to our attitude as we touched down, and I never had been happier to be on the ground.

I'm supposed to fly out on the same kind of plane Tuesday morning. The forecast calls for high wind and severe storms in the area, and storms at my destination. This morning's approach already had me a bit shaken, so I'm not looking forward to flying out again. I now wish I had looked at the forecast earlier so I could have driven back. I'm expected back at work by 8:30 in the morning, which leaves me little choice.

I've never been afraid of flying, and I know that driving is more dangerous statistically. Never while driving have I felt the way I did on that approach. Being up there among only strangers, at the mercy of nature's power, made me want to play the odds on the road.

The TV meteorologist just said that the atmosphere here is "all jacked up," and detailed the tornado watches and warnings. I'm waiting anxiously to see whether he says the system is moving faster than originally expected, and will be gone by morning. One way or another, I will.


Dave said...

I used to travel a LOT in my last job, and had my share of harrowing flights, so I know where you're coming from Mark.
Maybe I'll tell a story or two on my blog soon.. *S*

Mark said...

I was "harrowed," alright. I suppose it's like anything else that's unfamiliar to me. If I actually could learn to fly and feel firsthand how much control even a small jet affords in windy conditions, I'm sure I would lighten up a bit.