Is it only me that is seriously intrigued by Airplanes (commercial jets in particular) but goes in to a flat spin when he or she needs to fly somewhere?!
It sound so ridiculous, but I could sit at the airport and watch them take of and land all day long.
I just don’t particularly want to be on one…
The “woes” in me, is thanks to good old (and now out of business), Nationwide Airlines and flight my wife who is a seasoned traveler had to endure from JNB to Cape Town one afternoon.
The day started like any other, mad rush to pack and then the car trip to the airport to drop the rental off and book in on time for the flight back home after a chilled weekend of not doing much on the farm in JNB.
We get to the airport, the car is handed back, luggage and my wife and I are booked in….low and behold it starts as we get on to the bus THUNDER STORM!
The Captain comes over the PA system “Ladies and Gentlemen, there are a few pilots that have decided to hold back on take off due to the bad weather, so we are next in line for take off.”
At that point I say to my wife “pilots are delaying take off and this dude is getting ready to take off??!!”
I glance around the plane and note that I am not the only pale faced passenger on board looking around for an escape route…The doors are however closed and the plane is being pushed back.
I pull at my seat belt making it so tight that I could hardly breath (as if that’s going to help!)
The adrenalin junkie at the controls floors the MD-80, and we start hurtling down the runway.
I push myself back into my seat, clamp my hands on to the armrests and close my eyes.
We lift off and almost instantly start getting thrown around.
The plane is up, then down, then left, then right…..
At this stage I start moaning rather loudly and my wife reminds me that I am not the only passenger on the plane…I however hear other passengers shouting, laughing, cussing and one guy (who turns out was a visiting Pastor from Nigeria who has never been on a plane before) praying in tongues next to me.
I follow suite praying like I have never prayed before…I have no idea what I was saying but it was the most intense prayer that I have ever prayed.
The up, down, left, right went on for about 30 minutes.
One minute we were above the clouds then we dropped and we were under them…I was absolutely petrified!
I had pins and needles throughout my entire body – head to toe!
All this is going on and we have not heard a word from the Flight Crew.
All I can think is that the Captain must be to busy shouting :YEEEEEEEHHAAAAAAWWWWW! in the flippen cockpit to give a rats about the rest of us that are along for the ride.
Eventually the turbulence subsides and the Pastor next to me leans over with a terrified look on his face and says “is this what flying is always like?”
After I apologised for screaming like a girl a few times, we had a great chat the entire way home.
Being a Sunday, I of course went straight to Church as soon as we landed.
(It was one of those promises made in the moment; You know the ones “If we don’t crash I promise I will never…)”
So since that flight that Sunday afternoon, I really love looking at planes but would rather drive to JNB or anywhere else really, rather than fly.