So really briefly – Brian and I went to a wedding this weekend in Livermore, CA. It was for Brian Higgins and his now wife, Suzanne, who dated for over 19 years to finally see this day come around. (And I was bitching about 3.5 years!! )
The weekend would have been great, except for the migraine that I got on Friday and then proceeded to feel like total and complete poop all weekend. Still not feeling %100 today.
Also, didn’t help that I had the flight from HELL on Sunday night, trying to get home (still feeling like poop). It took me 4 hours at the airport to finally get on a flight (non-rev failed me on Sunday) and then once we got on, about 45 minutes into the flight… ugh, we had an “issue”.
So for those of you who know me, you know that despite my airline background I tend to have a small aversion to certain aspects of flying. This would include anything that sounded or felt outside the norm for a standard flight… bumps, knocks, changes in cabin pressure (hasn’t happened yet thank god), severe turbulence (which I’m actually not that bad with, but it’s still not super pleasant)… anyway, you get the drift.
For some reason I have found takeoff to be the worst. There is something about taking off that scares the crap out of me.
Even though yes, I understand Bernouli’s principle.
I get lift vs. drag…
I get it physically in every sense… it’s just an irrational fear that I can’t seem to break and that rears its ugly head when I am tired, or sick, or nervous, what-have-you.
Enough rambling, you get my point. Cut back to 45 minutes into flight, when the flight attendants throw on the lights (it’s about 9:00pm mind you) and hop on the PA asking for a nurse or a doctor. (oh great) The kind guy next to me, then informs me that someone is laying on the ground as a guy (doctor, nurse??) races down the aisle. The flight attendants are pulling out O2, the doctor is calling for an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator – used to shock the heart back into rhythm), we are all like… WHOA… cool DRAMA!!!
So we are thinking, not a big deal, we’re pretty close to San Diego, had just dropped into the LA basin, we will totally make it, he will be fine, no landing early, etc. etc. etc. Right.
So that was until the plane made this horrific grinding noise (the flight attendants all looked like WHOA), and started descending. And when I say descending people, this was like… hey, who shot us down, kind of descending. I was hyperventilating and the men on either side of me were looking at me like… um, is SHE going to have a heart attack? I really thought I was I was shaking so hard.
Once we realized that we weren’t broken (I keep saying “we”… nope, it was just me) and we were actually “landing” I started to get kind of impressed with what these guys were doing with that 737… I mean, good LORD, the turns, the “get-this-plane-on-the-MFing-ground” attitude was COOL!!! (I of course was still shaking.) But it was pretty intense… and pretty amazing. Those big planes are freaking maneuverable. I mean REALLY.
So anyway – I would say, 30-35,000 feet to ground in approximately 6-8 minutes. It was the most intense flight I have ever had in my life. And not really in a good way… Was close to tears most of it… except when I was like… where the HELL are we landing??? Oh yeah, Orange Country. We landed in Orange Country and after the mother of all descents, the patient walked off the plane. This is not to imply that he looked like he was fine. He looked like crap. Like he was actually having a heart attack… but he still walked off.
I’m like… you couldn’t have waited 15 more minutes are you KIDDING ME????
So the drama (or melodrama) continues as I realize where we are and what that means. Orange County… airport of the infamous “snatch back” take off. Oh delightful, take off , MY FAVORITE.
SO not only am I , scared, tired and sick, I am going to be taking off out of SNA… Let me have someone else explain this take off…
“Pilots must take off at a very steep angle. The idea is to quickly gain altitude before cutting back on engine speed, which in turn quiets the aircraft somewhat as it flies over Newport Beach and surrounding communities.” This translates to… you are taking off like straight up, and about 30 seconds into it, it feels like they just cut the power.
So anyway, I start freaking out, calling my dad, having a nervous breakdown. We start down the runway… FAST… and take off… like straight the F up… and then… they cut the engines back… and it was …
AWESOME!!!!! Like being on a roller coaster!!!! I was actually like… whoa, that was fun!!! Let’s do it again!!! Ok, nevermind, let’s go home…
But long story short, I survived the trip home. With the flu or whatever I had. And it was probably the scariest flight I’ve ever been on. But also the most impressive. I am extremely impressed with my husband and what those cowboys up in the front can do :-)