I wrote the following post over a week ago while returning home from a conference in Philadelphia, but neglected to post in a timely manner.
My flight home today was both one of the shakiest and most-consistently shaky flights I’ve been on. The pilot announced that we would likely experience more turbulence than normal “for a long while.” Not exactly the usual reassurance that it will be short-lived. The flight crew has been amazing tonight though. I couldn’t rate this particular experience with American Airlines highly enough.
When I finally arrived at home and laid down to sleep, I could still feel the turbulence just as feeling the rolling of the waves after spending a day on a boat.
Since that time…
All the shakes were pretty bad on me. After having broken a rib a week earlier, the rocking and bumping and shuffles wore me out. The night after the flight too, I could still feel the turbulence just like you can feel the rocking of the waves after a day on a boat.
It’s all good though, one more adventure in the journey book.
I had a great flight into Amsterdam. Though I was originally disappointed that the jet was an old 747-400, the situation was redeemed by the fact that it was a combination passenger-jet and freighter, making this my first cargo flight. It’s pretty incredible, actually, because KLM has chosen to go ahead and offer routes that aren’t as busy (such as from Narita to Amsterdam) and makes up for the loss on tickets by hauling freight on the same flights. There were all of the comforts of a jumbo-jet with all the benefits of having fewer passengers: snappy boarding and disembarking, smooth flight, great amenities in the air.
The wings did seem a bit shaky which unnerved me a bit. Maybe it was because I’m not used to sitting that far forward in the plane, but when I looked out the window and saw the engines bouncing around and the wings flexing I had to remind myself of the safety and track-record of the 747. Also, no AC power and no Internet access meant that I was pretty limited in what I could do, so I basically watched movies the whole time while I wrote some documentation for work.
It’s always incredible to fly up north – above the Arctic Circle. Things are so dreamy up there with the glaciers, snow, and mountains. Really makes you consider just how big Earth is and how little of it we occupy or live in.
The real treat this trip, however, was the descent into Amsterdam (no, not a moral descent). There were rainstorms around the area and we had a beautiful view of them: the thunderhead clouds (they look like anvils), the walls of water falling, and the glimmer of the sun through the distant showers.
These are perfect examples of the anvil-shape that thunderstorm clouds make. The hot air in the middle rises high above the other clouds until it’s too heavy for the surrounding air. It flattens out, is carried by the wind, and falls back down where the moisture gathers together and eventually forms raindrops.
Flying can be fun. Now where was I? Oh yeah – one more flight, three trains, and one lightrail before I’m home.