Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Even When I'm "Not" Thinking About Flying, I'm Thinking About Flying...

So we're trying to do our first flight to a big family holiday event. Yes, I know, all the warnings about "get-there-itis"... and the pressure of trying to make a specific deadline. We're trying to do all the right things to make it a successful trip.

  • We've done the flight planning. (Lots of it. Two routes, in fact. M would be proud.)
  • We've studied the weather.
  • We've done the "no rain and no wind" dances.
  • We've booked ourselves backup, refundable commercial air tickets.
  • We've made backup plans (and backups for the backup plans-- no kidding) for our dog- in case we have to fly commercial and can't take him along.
  • We've come up with a bigger window during which we can travel (now about 28 hours, as opposed to the original 8) and still be on time.
  • We've talked about what our go-no-go criteria are (and still haven't completely decided).

And now... we just have to wait. The plane is back from another multi-day trip tonight. We can depart as early as tomorrow morning (though now we ponder the need to rearrange other commitments for tomorrow). We wonder... will that 10 gusting to 18 predicted wind really be that strong? Or will it be stronger? Will the rainshowers hold off for another few hours past when predicted? Or will they come early? What if we have to land and wait it out somewhere. Would we get far enough that we could then make it on to our family on Thanksgiving? Or would we end up stuck somewhere having Thanksgiving dinner in a roadside (air side?) diner?

These are the things that my mind wants to think about. Not the proposal in front of me that needs to be finished before I can leave. Not the client that just sent an email and wants to know why he hasn't gotten his web-based training module yet. And not even the fun home improvement project waiting at home. No. My mind just wants to fly. It wants to feel the ground fall away beneath us. And the sky open up in front of us. The colors of the trees and mountains below you. Then to feel the plane purr as the runway comes into view below you. That moment when you pull the throttle to idle and it's quiet except for your instructor's voice whispering the steps to land in your head. Then the nice, small chirp that more hear than feel when the tires meet the runway.


Scott Schappell said...

I'm looking forward to weekend trips to visit family that are currently a 4 hour drive away :).

There's something nice about shaving about half the time off.

Head in the Clouds said...

just beware of headwinds! if we try to analyze the benefits of flying too closely, we soon realize that we don't do it so much for the convenience-- but more because we love being in the sky. And that, in itself, makes it all worth it!