Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Don't let me fly the plane....
My flying anxiety comes and goes...ok well it went away a for a few years following a car accident....it was really strange that I could fly with no real terror, but I couldn't remember what my car looked like. Turns out that was temporary, because I recently flew from my parents home in California to a layover in Las Vegas. Let's just say that an 11 seat airplane should be outlawed. It really was a white knuckle, hail Mary, wishing you had a parachute flight. Once I landed in Vegas I kissed the ground and asked my son if he would mind me renting a car, or even better just start walking home. (I like my feet planted firmly on the ground.)
So when my husband told me that a friend had somehow scored some time in the official United Airlines Flight Simulators I politely said no thank you.....I really did try to call around and get someone to fill my seat, but in the end I relented and figured that I shouldn't be such a baby and get it over with.
Let me explain to you that my 15 year old son is learning to drive, and I clench my teeth so hard when he is behind the wheel, that I couldn't eat solid food for two days. He was first in the pilot's seat. There is a flight instructor with you and he tells you what to do as you go...the funny thing is that my son didn't roll his eyes once with him telling him how to fly the plane! Basically it was a little terrifying but I got through it by closing my eyes. Son #2 went and things got a little better, but then it was my turn.
I was impressed that I was willing to give it a shot. For those of you that have flown into San Francisco know that you land about 4 inches away from the ocean. Ok maybe slightly more than 4 inches, but that is what it feels like. Since we lived there I have done more than my share of ocean/runway landings. I took off fine, things were good, then the flight instructor says we are flying UNDER the Golden Gate Bride.....he basically tells you to pull up, bump it down, the warnings go off if you get to close either way. I swear to you that it feels so real! I got through that harrowing experience and then I had to land the plane. Apparently the pressure got to me because in the middle of landing it, I just screamed, I can't doooo iiit!!! with my hands over my face in panic. Did you know that planes basically land themselves? Me neither, it was the smoothest landing of the day.
Then my husband killed us all by dumping us into the ocean with his attempt to get under the bridge. The flight simulator actually feels like you've crashed. He said it was a Sully move, I say we are swimming with the sharks.
I may be walking to my next vacation.