Sometimes, it's best not to know
Leada Gore, Editor
It's not a secret among those who know me that I don't like to fly. Still, through the course of the the last 10 or so years, and thanks to some hefty doses of medication, I've learned to fly with just a slight uptick in my blood pressure.
The bigger the plane, the less my anxiety. For some reason, I feel safer in a larger plane, as if the aisle alone will save me if we plummet from the sky.
It's the little planes I don't like and my definition of little is anything that holds less than 30 passengers. So, you can imagine my trepidation when I learned recently my boss and I would be flying in our parent company's plane. The plane is roughly the size of an SUV. It holds four people, plus the pilot. I have flown on this plane before, on a long trek from Tuscaloosa to Natchez, Miss. to Stephensville, Texas. My track record on this plane wasn't good and I told my boss this before we left.
He laughed. I didn't.
He was still laughing when we boarded the plane last week, though my mood hadn't changed much. I instructed my boss, Bill, my rules of flying: no sudden moves, don't leave your seat and don't talk too much. Any sudden actions, I said, could upset the plane.
We took off, making our way through the clouds and up into the wild blue yonder. There were a few bumps (it's air coming up from the ground, my boss said) but for the most part it was a smooth flight.
After about two hours, I felt the plane start to head down.
A wave of calm washed over me. Landing meant we would be on the ground. I broke my own rules and leaned forward to look out the window.
I noticed it was awfully white outside, and it seemed we were flying inside a bag of cotton. We broke through the clouds and it seemed as if the runway was just a few feet below. Suddenly, I felt the plane come up and head back into the thick white soup.
I noticed Bill seemed tense, as if the aborted landing bothered him. "It will be fine," I said. "He will be able to land this time."
He kept looking out the window. Something was wrong.
We made another attempt, cutting through the clouds and hitting the runway with a thump. We landed safely.
It was then that Bill informed me the door to the landing gear had bent on our first approach and he wasn't sure if it would operate properly on our landing.