I only started using local flights in November last year and the first experience was both calming and scary in equal measure. From an academic point of view, I know a lot of the things that could go wrong during takeoff and landing, so that part is frightening, while cruising is peace that gets ruined by descent and landing.
Anyway, last week Thursday I took a one hour flight from Port Harcourt to Abuja that reminded me of all these fears. It is just the second time I'm ever flying, so I'm not still quite over my initial fears. I wonder if there are people that actually ever get over these fears, I would like to learn how they do it.
The flight was in one of those medium-sized jetliners with the engines at the back.
My seat was in front of the wing, so I couldn't focus on the flaps and ailerons to distract myself like the last time. Also, unlike the last time where the flight was in a more robust aircraft, this flight felt different because of the nimbleness of the plane.
Takeoff was smooth as balls, and I thought to myself, "well, that was easy" until the pilot thought it was a nice idea to perform an aerobatic maneuvre that had me clutching my seat. Okay to be totally honest, he was just banking at a pace slightly less than takeoff speed, and that made me uneasy.
Unlike my previous flight in a Boeing 737-300, this aircraft was generally nimbler. It has more stability during slight turbulence and eased out quite nicely.
The sound of the engine is deafening but that's normal. If the sound of two Turbines blaring in your ear doesn't make you go deaf for a moment, then something might be wrong with you.
Lost in the clouds
Cruise is probably everyone's favourite part of the flight and for good reason too. At over 10k feet in the sky, there are no trees, houses or birds beneath you, to remind you of all the problems in this world.
I look outside and all I see are clouds hovering beneath and above. The clouds look like tiny Islands in the sky. A small part of me wishes I could reach out of the sky to scoop up a piece of these heavenly particles that adorn the skyline. It feels like I'm in an ocean in the sky, gliding past eternity with nothing but uncertainty beneath.
Other times, these tiny masses of liquid droplets floating in the atmosphere they seem like fluid mountains that are protruding through the sky towards the heavens.
I stared at the clouds throughout the experience, lost in thought. If being up in the clouds feels this calming, I wondered what outer space would feel like, as I took a sip of the complimentary bottle of water the airline served us.
There's a certain calm in the midst of the turbulence that reminds you of your place in nature. It is humbling, to say the least, and keeps you guessing as you glide through the skies.
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