What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane flight?

I have done a lot of flying over the years and there have been a lot of great — and awful — flights. For sheer terror, however, one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

I was catching the New York-Boston shuttle from La Guardia to Logan. It’s a very short flight … less than half an hour in the air. You spend more time waiting for a runway to clear for take off or landing than you spend on the flight.

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The weather had been dicey all day and we were late taking off. A thunderstorm broke exactly as we were lifting off. A bolt of lightning hit one of the engines and the plane shook like a dog leaving a lake. The engine was howling as it strained to gain altitude. Those first minutes after leaving the runway are fragile. Too late to go back — and most modern airports are designed so as you rise into the air, you’re immediately over water.

An announcement from the pilot said we were requesting emergency landing at the nearest airport … but it turned out, Logan was the nearest airport.

We were next told Logan was clearing a runway for us. No cell phones then, so we couldn’t call anyone to say goodbye. All we could do was listen to the laboring engines, feel the plane shudder, and hope we were not about to become statistics.

Then, we were over Boston, on the ground, disembarked. Garry complained I was late. I think I just screamed.

How many bones, if any, have you broken?

I don’t think I’ve ever broken any bones except for a toe. I’ve cracked a vertebra. I’ve had both breasts and two heart valves replaced. Does that count?

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

From deep in the past, I’d love to talk with Eleanor of Aquitaine. She had quite a life.

Add Dorothy Parker for the wit and humor.

skin game jim butcherAnd Jim Butcher. He’s a funny guy, a great writer, and I’ve heard him talk. He’d liven up any gathering.

Make a Currently List: What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating, needing, wanting, and missing right now?

Reading? Terry Pratchett’s “Moving Pictures” and Carolyn Gockel’s “Warriors.” I’m reading Terry by day and Carolyn by night. I know. I’m weird.

Eating? Cherries. They’re in season. I’m trying hard to not overdose, but I have limited control in the face of fruit I love.

Needing? Money. We need to fix things, spray trees, repair teeth, replace stuff. I should buy a lottery ticket. Then I could at least dream.

Missing? My big brother. I always miss Matthew this time of year, probably because his birthday would be coming up. He would have been 73 this year.

Categories: Anecdote, Humor, Personal

Tags: , , ,

17 replies

  1. That was an interesting, but short flight you had. 😀


  2. I remember a flight where the pilot was about to land then he pulled up suddenly and said “sorry, I’ll try that again.” Amateur night in the cockpit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was some airplane trip, just what I need as I will be flying next week :-). I am sure your body repair work qualifies completely. I have just finished Wyrd sisters by Terry Pratchett which I found very good and amusing as always. Now I have just finished Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. Mr. Swiss will also be reading it, as the jazz influence interests him, although he found the english is a little tough going.


    • Aaronovitch has a another one coming out in the spring. He doesn’t write as much as some other authors, but he is always fun and funny — and I find his slangy British English fun, especially when I listen on Audible. I’m almost finished with Wyrd Sisters. Not sure where I’m headed next. Maybe back to Richard Kadrey’s new Sandman Slim book, which I just got a few days ago. I can’t imagine what I would do in this life if I could not read!


  4. I would take lightning striking the plane as a sign that someone out there thinks that people were not meant to fly. Even for just a half hour…


  5. Yes to Dorothy Parker! I so enjoy reading her razor sharp wit.


  6. That airplane story is terrifying. I love that Garry said you were late 🙂


  7. Nice one…… 💗


  8. “Moving Pictures” is a good one. Then, they all are!


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