Friday, January 18, 2008

Bumpy Landing

On our flight up to Newark, we had the most frightening flying experience I've ever had (for the record, I'm not scared of flying. I can't stand it when people say "it's so much safer than driving" because I have an actual phobia of driving fast) We had had a great flight, and were making the descent into Newark when the plane pulled up sharply, and continued flying. The pilot made an announcement that the instruments indicated that the nose gear was not coming down. He said something vague about having someone check it out.

I immediately got a very bad feeling in my stomach. I looked at my husband, and he said, "Oh, we can land without nose gear! We'll just have to get out the emergency exit fast". My husband has always taken a sunnier view of things (he is still certain the twins will grow out of their autism), but I can't say I was convinced.

The plane started making a grinding sort of noise, which my husband guessed was the pilot trying to "shake the landing gear down". That's when I decided he probably wasn't lying to me to calm me down, or else he was doing a bad job at it. I buckled the twins into their harnesses, but my hands were shaking, and a neighbor across the aisle had to help me. After a while, maybe ten minutes, of me thinking some pretty grim thoughts, the pilot announced that everything was okay. I was still nervous until we got down, and the actual landing was pretty bumpy. As we looked around, we saw fire engines and ambulances standing by. This seemed dramatic to me, but as my sister says, "If they haven't sprayed foam on the runway, they aren't expecting the worst".

I'd like to think I gained some wisdom and perspective in those shaky moments, but the most I've taken from it is a desire to appreciate every moment, stop worrying so much about the future, and stop worrying so much what other people think. All cliches I suppose, but cliches because they are all things worth doing.

And above all, look at my boys every day and be simply happy.


Angela said...

Glad you made it back down to erth in one piece.
I have a fear of flying not me flying but my family. I don't know what I would do if I lost them. Speaking of them they are flying at the end of the month.

kristen said...

I'm not a big fan of hurtling myself through the atmosphere in a tin can, but we do it all the time. So glad it was a safe landing. And yes, just enjoy those precious boys. Every day.

burgiboogie said...

My husband is a pilot, he said it wasn't common, but doable, course he sounds a lot like your husband:) He said, you could land the plane without nose gear rather successfully, but that the plane wouldn't be getting off the ground again anytime soon. He also said that any time you declare an "in flight emergency", the ground crew has to respond.

Okay all that being said I would have freaked as well, even if he was sitting beside me:) Believe it or not these kind of emergencies happen more than I like to think about! Glad you guys got home safe, thank God for husbands with sunny dispositions, what would we do with out them!!

Mom without a manual said...

Wow! I'm glad you made it down safe and sound!

Yes, quite the perspective provider!
Enjoy that family of yours!