Monday, September 21, 2009

To develop a fear of flying...

Fly with China Airlines.

Before June 2001, I had no problems with flying. Then in June 2001, my family took a trip to China, flying with China Airlines. The seat belt sign remained on for the entire 10+ hour flight to China due to extreme turbulence. We were able to look out the window and see the wings bending with the turbulence bumps. And the pilots decided that the best take-offs and landings involved the plane going straight up and straight down. If you looked around on this plane flight, everyone was gripping the arm rests with white knuckles and was praying. This flight description is on par with the rest of the flights that we took within China on Chinese Airlines were the same. I’m very happy we survived.

Now I'm fine with flying, until turbulence hits. When this happens, I immediately start to panic and think of this incident.

Thus, my flight this weekend to Riga, Latvia was not a pleasant one as the RyanAir pilots seem to have the same opinion as the Chinese Air pilots that a straight up and straight-down landings are the best approach. Also, for some reason they keep alternating between 1) going sharply up (or down) + engines roaring, then 2) leveling out + engines going quiet, then repeat. It was so extreme that the teenagers on the flight going to Riga actually started cheering whenever our stomach would drop from a sharp up or down (like on an amusement park ride).

Is this normal? If yes, I need to find a good coping mechanism for turbulence. Any ideas?

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