Monday, May 5, 2008

.not your usual turbulence

We just returned from a wedding in the Santa Barbara California area and will post pictures soon of some of the incredible things the bride planned. It was truly one of the most beautiful events I've ever attended.

On our flight out, about 1/3 of the way into the 4.5 hour flight we hit some very unexpected turbulence. This was not your "bumpy now fasten seat belt" kind of turbulence, but more of a violent and jolting event. It came on suddenly just after I took Elizabeth out of her seat belt (the sign was off) for the beverage that had just been delivered. She couldn't wait to get her hands on that little bag of pretzels and have her own orange juice cup! She had her seat back tray down and the cup of OJ on it. She was on her knees ready to dive into the goodies, and then it hit.

She flew up and landed face down on the tray- soaked with orange juice and crying. I was attempting to keep my hot coffee from spilling on her (and myself) Dave and John were drenched with a coke that flew up and hit the ceiling belonging to the man seated next to them. I was unable to coordinate the buckle of E'beths seat belt to even fasten it. All I could do was get my hot coffee into my Mom's hands and put my arms around her to keep her from being tossed out of her seat.

Dave and I have flown quite a bit and this was the most 'uncontrolled' event we can ever remember. It lasted only a few minutes, and when the pilot came on the intercom, he appeared to be shaken. He explained they had no warning??!! (I thought you knew many miles in advance so as to circumvent turbulance) but what do I know about flying an aircraft!? At one point, the plane took such a dive, there were screams from some of the passengers. It seemed like many couldn't believe what was actually happening.

Nothing like a mid air dive to re-set priorities and ask yourself if you are ready to meet your maker!

The flight attendants used up all the paper towels in an attempt to 'dry' the passengers and clean up the mess and the rest of the flight was great. E'beth did amazingly well on the flight (except for the orange juice shampoo) and the decent due to her ears. A few pieces of gum and reminders to swallow did the trick for the most part and we were very happy on her progress with regards to air travel ;)

To be continued...

8 comments:

Shelley said...

Wow...sounds like our decent into Tokyo on our way home from China last year. Everyone was already buckled in and ready to go as we were decending to land, but David, Aly, Lili and I were fully prepared to meet our Maker and thought that we were about to do just that! Scary stuff!!

Shelley

Paula said...

Wow, that is called white knuckling it. I used to be a flight attendant and have experienced that too. It really makes you appreciated your life!
Glad you made it to the ground safely. Can't wait to see the pics.

Erin said...

Yikes! It is scary enough without extra jolting. I just hate every little jiggle. Our flight home from China was a flying rodeo. It was the one and only time my husband has been motion sick! Glad you are all safe!

Erin said...

Yikes! A flying rodeo! Our flight from China was similar, and John got motion sickness for the first and only time in his life. It is very frightening. I am glad you all made it safely, and looking forward to wedding photos.

kris said...

Not to scare you even more, but I have read (I'm a horrible flyer and think knowledge is power) that 75% or so of turbulence is caused by an aircraft in front of you (hence the reason it's so common in take off and landing). Sounds like you guys practically had a near miss if he had to dive and change altitude like that. All I know is that I'm very glad it was short lived and you guys are all okay.

Janelle said...

eek! terrifying...we had one of those white knuckle flights on the way to Tortola for our honeymoon -- I was sure that was it for us!

Susan said...

Kris, the pilot actually mentioned another nearby aircraft as part of the problem. I didn't give it much thought at the time as we were attempting to avoid the wet seats and wiping goo off from top to bottom! I didn't catch everything he said but would like to know what "it" was.

Lori said...

SCARY!! I hate that turbulence stuff!!
I'm glad you had a lovely time and I look forward to pictures of this beautiful event!