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Post 11: “Fear of flying”

Flying in an aeroplane is entirely illogical to my science-free brain. If I drop a feather it will float to the ground, and a feather is so light that there's literally an expression (simile) to state its best known quality. You can explain the theory of aerodynamics to me until you're blue in the face but it just doesn't make sense. 100 people in a big metal box full of stuff weighs considerably more than a feather. As the famous saying goes.

I like to be in the driver's seat in most areas of my life and the sheer dependence we have on the pilot is very overwhelming. My mum always says that the pilots don't fly if anything worries them about the state of the plane, then I reminded her about that pilot with depression.

My family know more than me about the reasons that flying is possible as they are very sciencey indeed. When one of my kids went on his first flight, my ex-air-cadet husband spent ages telling him how planes work and told him what to look out for on taking off and landing.

A few hours into the flight, my boy noticed the flaps on the wings move, indicating that we were about to begin our descent. He felt that this was important information to share so he excitedly (and very loudly) screamed:

“We're going down! We're going down!”

Unbeknownst to us, just at that moment the aeroplane hit a pocket of severe turbulence. As my son shouted the reprise of his warning the plane suddenly dropped, so quickly that items flew up from the tables into the air. There was a moment of silence as everyone stared at what appeared to be a prophet in our midst. And then the screaming and panicking began.

Between us we had almost every passenger language covered and spent the rest of the descent calming people down and telling them what he'd meant. We landed in freak weather conditions which even forced the cab driver to hang his phone up!

It was one of the worst flights ever and I'll never forget that incident. Not only that, but we should have got the kid picking the Lottery numbers.

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