Marathon Life

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Almost crashing on the Rocky Mountains

Maybe I am overreacting just a bit. But, last Sunday on my US Air flight from JFK to San Francisco (on my way back to Orange County) we were routinely moving along during the 6 hour flight. We had some turbulence about an hour into the flight. Then about 4 hours in there was a sudden jolt of turbulence. The pilot came on immediately and said in a stern voice, "Take your seats now!" People had been up and about in the isles, waiting for the bathroom. Then about 5 seconds after that first sudden jolt was a MAJOR, MAJOR jump/fall/jolt like I have NEVER FELT on an airplane IN MY LIFE!! It was insane. I sat in the back of the plane where people had been standing up trying to get back to their seats. Two larger men were thrown in mid-air. Everyone screamed. We must have fell, like, I don't know, a few 1000 feet. It felt like we were going down right then and there.

I thought, "This is it! My life will be splattered all over the Rocky Mountains below." Then it felt like we were in this tube or rollarcoaster, headed down on a very large and steep slide into the mountains below. For about 20 seconds it felt like this. I thought about my life and what I accomplished. Was this it? I was grabbing onto the armrests, not that they would have saved me when we crashed. Then we seemed to level off and there was some more moderate shaking for about a minute. Then it all stopped and things felt normal again. During the entire incident "Desperate Housewives" continued to play on the TVs.

I have never felt so scared and helpless in my life. My heart rate was beating extremely fast the entire incident. I would estimate that my BPM was at least in the 170s. I routinely run with my Polar RS200SD Heart Rate monitor and when I run I average in the low 150s. This felt like an all-out sprint! Talk about an adrenaline rush. The people next to me, a couple in their 50s, were very calm considering the circumstances. I'm just glad to be home safe. I am looking forward to NOT flying again until August when I got back to Houston to see J****.

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posted by Anthony at 11:03 PM


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