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Random thoughts

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Confessions of A Pilot's Daughter

You would think that someone like me, the daughter of a pilot and a manager of a department in Philippine Airlines, would be jaded about travelling and plane trips. You'd think that I would just be yawning my way through a ride on a plane. You'd be thinking wrong.

What I like about flying/travelling:
1. Booking the ticket. The anticipation of going somewhere, especially when it's somewhere I've never been, is just the greatest feeling.
2. Walking into the airport and checking in. When I step onto the floor of an airport and see all these people walking around with their luggage, talking on their cellphones to arrange rides, meetings, etc., I get this sense of infinite possibilities.
3. Taking off. This has got to be, by far, the biggest natural high I get from this. From the time the plane starts to taxi onto the runway, up till the time the wheels are pulled back in and the plane dips before rising again, that's when I feel the best. Especially at night, I love that last turn the plane makes, the one that takes it onto the runway. I always hold my breath in anticipation when I see the red lights on either side of the plane, and I brace myself for the speed rush.
4. Watching the wings. I guess I am my father's daughter. Lots of people try to choose seats away from the wings of the plane, but I don't mind. Have you ever watched the wings of the plane during takeoff or landing? You'll see them transform, the outer flaps extending and the inner flaps either going up or down or just flapping with the wind.
5. Landing. I'm a sucker for smooth landings, but then again, who isn't? I like hearing the brakes squeal and, if I'm by the wing, watching the inner flaps go up so high to maximize wind resistance.

Memorable plane moments:
1. Being in the cockpit during a landing. One Christmas, I went with my dad on one of his flights, and he let me sit up in the jumpseat in the cockpit. First of all, being up there at night is beautiful, you see an endless black carpet with little twinkles from time to time. In the morning, the sunset is just amazing. And during the landing itself, there's so much action going on, so many pilot jargon I don't understand, but it's very exciting.
2. My brother's vandalism. On one trip to the US, my brother wrote his signature on the sticker on the plane door, where they have the instructions to open it. When we were flying back, we saw the door of the plane we were on and knew right away it was the same one we took going to the US - his signature was still there.

So call me silly, but man, it really makes me happy!

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