I’ve got a lot of memories of flying as a kid. I loved to fly because it meant I was heading for the “big city” that had things like shopping malls, McDonalds, and Baskin Robbins.
Living in rural Alaska meant the only (practical) way in or out of my hometown was by plane. There were no roads connecting it to other areas of the state, unless you count the nearby river that became an ice road in the winter connecting us to smaller villages.
So I’ve flown in a lot of planes. I’ve been in the tiny ones with floats. Only room for 4 or 5 passengers. They used to land on the lake across from my grandmother’s house. And I’ve flown in medium size planes as well as big jets. I’ve been from west coast to east coast and all the way to Honduras once before I was 18.
Safe to say I’m pretty used to flying. But it’s not always smooth.
My Dad was in a plane forced to crash land on the tundra. Everyone was okay.
My husband was once in a freighter than lost cabin pressure and had to fly low to get to their destination with everyone alive and conscious. That could have turned out very badly.
And the kids and I were on a jet a few years back that came in for a landing, and circled. I’d flown enough times to know that at a small airport, where there’s only a couple of flights a day, if you hear an odd noise and then circle… well, that’s not great. At the time my husband was on the ground waiting for our flight to arrive and knew that the landing gear in the plane wasn’t operating properly–they couldn’t get it down. I can only imagine how worried he must have been.
Thanks to skillful pilots and some grace, everything turned out just fine in these could-have-been-bad situations.
You might think after those experiences I’d be afraid to fly. Not every mid-air challenge turns out alright. Though statistically it’s safer to fly than it is to drive. Still… there’s risk and I’ve seen some of those risks first hand. Here I am anyway.
Risk is part of life. Weight the risk vs. reward. But don’t let the chance of a risk stop you from going after what you want in life.
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