Friday, April 6, 2012

On the road again: Austin, day 5

After very little sleep, I headed to the airport to take my alternate path home. The good news is that I made it. The flights went well and arrived on time.

The bad news is that my landing in Raleigh was the second worst I've ever experienced.

The pilot brought the plane in fast. Worse, he couldn't stablize it, so we were rocking side to side and bouncing a bit. People chuckled at first, then became quiet, then gave voice to their fears. We hit the ground hard, the whole plane continuing to rock side to side, and then we bounced several times. By this point, many people around me were crying, a few were screaming, and little kids were freaking out and clawing and yelling for their parents. The pilot hit the brakes hard, and the plane rocked even more. Rather than dispel momentum by running past the terminal, he took a hard left when the plane was opposite our gate, and the plane rocked more.

When we finally came to a stop, people applauded.

I have no way to know what happened, but I sure would have liked the pilot to have offered at least some explanation. Instead, the cockpit door stayed closed until the last of us were off the plane.

Given how upset some people were, that was probably a wise choice.

Today was a great reminder of why I always consider the best outcome of flying to be boring flights.

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