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Location: Massachusetts, United States

Saturday, October 01, 2005

How flying changes people

I don't have to sell any of you pilot readers on the beauty of flying, but this next story has convinced a few non-flyers that getting aloft is often about more than just getting from one point to another. Here is what I posted on an aviation message board in June of 2004 after a commercial flight back from Atlanta. Flying is pure magic.

I was sitting on a 767 homebound to Boston last night, stewing over the two passangers behind me. They were loud, obnoxious and quite crude, deriving much amusement from the video of the pretty blonde flight attendant inflating her life jacket using the mouth tube.
My hopes for badly needed sleep after a full weekend of fun were dashed and many around shot them angry looks, shook their heads in consternation and sighed in obvious discontent.
But half-an-hour from Logan, the two bozos were suddenly tranformed from Vodka-drinking rowdies with a penchant for the easy sexual connotation to utterly amazed children.
And all it took was a sunset seen from 20,000 feet.
'That's the phatest thing I've ever seen,' said the big guy. (For your older folks, Phat means cool these days... go figure).
'It's gorgeous,' his tank-top wearing sidekick replied in a thick Boston accent.
They just sat there, in perfect silence, watching the sun slowly dip below the horizon in a thick orange fluid.
Tank-top's face was transformed and you could see in his eyes that this was the most beautiful, awe-inspiring sight he had ever caught.
When the tip of the sun finally disappeared, they let out a simultaneous 'Wow.'
'Phatest sunset, dude. Totally awesome.'
'You're a poet man,' tank-top teased.
As we dipped lower, they began pointing out landmarks to each other and were completely enthralled by a meandering river.
'Looks like a snake, and look, there's its head,' tank top said excitedly, shaking big guy's shoulder, who had a broad childlike smile painted on his face.
At a few thousand feet, the pilot began his final approach over the ocean.
'Wow, it looks like the wing is going to touch the water,' one said excitedly.
They were almost holding each other.
Only flying could turn Cromagnons into dreamy kids. I almost felt like offering them to come and fly with me since they loved it so much.
We are a lucky bunch, people!


Blogger Yellowbird said...

What were you doing trying to sleep on an ariplane? Where are your priorities?

Nice blog, BTW!

11:18 AM  
Blogger Capt. Wilko said...

Scotty! Nice to see you here! You're absolutely right about my priorities being all screwed up. A couple of bottles of wine the night before made me want to sleep though, they made me, I swear!

12:06 PM  
Blogger MyFlightBlog said...

I am always amazed when I come across people in a window seat who have the shade down. Whenever I fly commercially I get a kink in my neck from looking out the window for a few straight hours.

Glad their amazement finally gave you some peace.

Great blog!

11:59 AM  

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