Of Flights, Pilots, And Turbulence

Posted: August 8, 2011 in DAY 2 DAY, FUN!!!, TRAVELOGUE
Tags: , , ,

I was on a plane from Lagos on Friday morning, about 7.02am and I wished I was married. Why, you might ask. Well, it was blinking cold, what with the rains, the air conditioning in the plane, and yours truly who was feeling sexy in a sequined tunic that looked fabulous but at that point would definitely be the death of me!

We all know the drill, ‘this is a non smoking flight, the lavatories have been equipped with smoke detectors blah blah blah, please switch off your phones, etc. the captain (a white guy surnamed Williams) sounded like he knew what he was doing when he welcomed us on board et al. 7.10, 7.15, 7.17, “oga lets go now”, I said to myself, cursing whatever made me not fly the night before. I was going to ask one of the cabin crew ki lo de when the captain’s voice resounded, ‘since you’ve refused to switch off your phones, I’ll just wait for you to finish your calls. So go ahead, speak to your friends and family, I’ll wait’. Can you beat that? As in, seriously, did he just address us like that? Two emotions immediately coursed through my mind.

  • I was impressed that somehow from the control tower they could detect that a phone was still on! (Even though a colleague at work has been up in the air and her phone rang – still don’t believe that happened sha but -……..and nothing happened. Don’t try it o, you didn’t hear it from me)!
  • Secondly I was angry. Very angry. Who in God’s name doesn’t understand ‘switch off your phone’, considering how many times it had been announced on the flight.

And so brethren, we waited. By 7.27am, (I was fuming now) a phone (belonging to a lady seated two rows behind me) rang. “Ah! Pele o, e ma bi nu”, she said, with all the drama and genuflections associated with speech by people from her part of Nigeria; “I thought I switched it off, I didn’t know I just locked the keypad”. She wasn’t mobbed or anything (even though with all the glares and hisses she got I wouldn’t wish my enemy to be her), her husband just helped her switch it off.

Once again, I was impressed because almost immediately, the captain thanked us for wasting our own time and announced we had been cleared to take off. I’ll spare you his exact words but I didn’t feel bad or anything, as a matter of fact I was wondering what I’d have said if I was the pilot!

Smooth take off, very smooth (by now I figured that the pilot’s cockiness came from a thorough knowledge of his job). Breakfast, yes, most definitely. Tea? Two cups of steaming coffee (so the cold wouldn’t congeal my lungs – remember that movie by Osuofia)?

Can I say that the weather was terrible, there were so many bumps, turbulence was mad but I was calm, and for a number of reasons. One, the Fairy Godfather was aware I was on the flight, two, have you forgotten I’m a fairy? It’s the mortals on the flight I was worried for. And three, the pilot announced that the weather was bad and everything but he also said (and I quote), ‘it’s nothing I haven’t seen before so we’ll be fine’. Who said confidence isn’t sexy? But I digress.

Err, not this type of turbulence sha...

So the pilot knew what he was doing but the turbulence wasn’t a joke o! It’s the type that’s not recommended for children or people with weak hearts. Even I, fairy and all, felt my heart flutter after a while (I was just scared for the mortals remember)? It got so bad that the hostesses couldn’t serve the refreshments (the high point of any flight for me) but believe me, today I didn’t care! And no, at this point I had stopped noticing how cold it was!

I am a firm believer in information being a strong weapon against fear. Once again I doffed my hat for the pilot because he explained to us the reason for the turbulence (which I don’t remember now) but said he was ‘on top of it’ and just needed us to remain buckled in our seats. Even in my mortification, his cockiness made me smile.

God was merciful and we got in ok, and with tears in my eyes, and hunger in my belly, I managed a smile at the hostess and got off the plane. Next stop? Wading through the traffic and composing a good enough excuse to give my Line Manager for missing a meeting I had convened. If I survived that, a thanksgiving meal would definitely be in order!

*Written on the 16th of June 2010.*

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Comments
  1. It’s great to know that the Fairy Godfather has your back always. And I agree with you that information is an effective weapon against fear. Wishing you better and enjoyable flight experiences in the future, at least, for the sake of the mortals fortunate to fly with you, lol. Love your blog.

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  2. ifesinachi says:

    Nice piece i must say..So right about the ‘Fairy Godfather’…Keep it up.Look forward to more write-ups..

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  3. Kalat Dale Bagaiya says:

    ‘Information is an effective weapon against fear’. Somehow that stuck with me most. A story or two come to mind readily.

    But this is about your story, nice one. Keep it up girl.

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  4. Rahma says:

    Lol at d cocky captain,can u please tell me what airline that is? Need to fly with airlines like that,nice one doll.

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  5. Brymore says:

    Very nice read, I immensely enjoyed myself (I was so immersed, I read it all-I usually don’t read all the stuff on blogs). Loved your use of the intermission.
    Please aje a sama (get Nas to translate for you if you can’t).
    Well done!

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  6. This is an amazing piece and am not disappointed or surprised.

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