Hey awesome people!
“Muuuuuuum! Let me sit at the window! Puh-leeeeeaaase!” little Bella cooed into her mum’s ear as they walked down the aisle of the Boeing 747 to their seats. “You know I want to be a pilot one day, I would love to see how the ailerons behave with change in altitude.”
“Alright kiddo! So long as you behave sweetie,” Kristie, her mum replied.
“Yaay!” she beamed and tugged on her mum’s hand as if to rush her to her seat.
A few feet ahead, behind a tightly locked mahogany door, the pilots and flight engineer were prepping for the flight to Bangkok; studying the flight plans and other requisite plans.
“Flaps and rudder?” Captain Inver referred to her log, shooting a glance at her first officer, who rechecked the instruments for any malfunctions.
“Check!” he replied, as the rest of the excited passengers boarded the magnificent airliner. Most of them were rich kids looking to spoil themselves with a Thai shopping experience. The families on board glowed with the anticipation of a vacation spent on the amazing beaches and touring the breathtaking sceneries.
“Andrea, you look fantastic,” The captain quipped in her deep authoritative voice, smiling warmly at her flight engineer.
“Inver, who goes to Thailand looking less than perfect,” she grinned, casting her red ponytail back.
“This is going to be a long flight people, hope you are ready,” Inver said.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I am Inver Scott, our first officer is Tom Johansen and on the flight engineer’s seat is Andrea Jordin. This is flight 273 to Bangkok which will take approximately seven hours. Welcome aboard and thank you for choosing Anyisa Airlines” Inver said into the radio and turned on the safety belt sign. Slowly, she taxied her plane to position.
“Flight AA-273 to Bangkok you are cleared for takeoff,” the voice from the air traffic control tower came through her headset. The pilots eased their brakes and pushed the Pratt and Whitney engines to full thrust. At 260 km/h, the bird soared gracefully into the morning sky. At 33000 feet, it reached the cruising altitude; wherein Inver turned off the seat belt sign and cleared senior stewardess Erin Wagner to serve breakfast.
“All systems are go,” Inver briefed the air traffic control, “Those clouds though… kinda intense!”
“Yes Captain, you will fly into a storm. Be advised.”
“Jesus!” she exclaimed, her blue eyes on some ominous grey cumulonimbus clouds gathering in the distance. The veteran in her calculated that in roughly thirty minutes, she would encounter severe turbulence.
“Relax Inver; we have flown into those before!” Andrea said calmly.
Captain Inver could not shake off the growing and irritating anxiety. She inhaled deeply as she gripped the control yoke even harder. Rain was beating hard on her plane’s body and turbulence had forced her to take back control from autopilot. The pilots fought the winds trying to destabilize the planes position, which made the passengers uncomfortable.
“Mummy, are we going to be okay?” Bella shouted above the cacophony in the plane.
“Of course! It is just a small storm. Our Captain is a strong girl. She will get us out of this,” her mother comforted her scared little daughter. She had reason to be horrified; people were shouting and praying loudly; deeply troubled by the turn of events.
Suddenly the plane banked to the right, sending a stewardess sprawling across the aisles and coffee spilling in all directions.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have encountered a mild storm that is affecting the planes stability. Everyone buckle up and stay calm until we pass this section,” came Inver's voice over the intercom.
“What happened?” Inver asked, surprised. “We have to maintain control. There are 400 passengers on board…”
A deafening bang rent the air and the crew shot forward. The cargo door in the lower deck had just blown out, and the cabin was quickly getting depressurized. Tom immediately availed oxygen to his now petrified passengers as Inver struggled to control the plane and seek help.
“Mayday, we have lost a cargo door!”
“Flight AA-273 we read you loud and clear.”
The altimeter needle was spinning out of control as the plane took a nosedive.
“We are losing altitude!”
“Maintain thrust and turn 18 degrees west. There is an open field for you to attempt landing. Good luck!” The gentlemen at the air traffic control huddled around the screen, watching the red dot.
“We can do this!” Inver declared as the field became visible through the thin cloud layer. “Launch landing gears and reduce thrust.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to have a crash landing. Quickly place your hands behind your head and place your head between your knees,” Inver instructed as she and Tom pulled back their control yokes.
The landing gears hit the ground hard but everyone was safe. The pilots leaned on the breaks to slow their plane and it ground to a halt. The passengers applauded and hugged each other as the cockpit squad sighed deeply.
“Inver dear, way to go!” Andrea congratulated her colleague and friend of ten years.
“Gosh, we still don’t get to Bangkok. The beach is calling me,” Inver replied, leaning back in her seat, watching the emergency crews arrive. “We are lucky to be alive.”
In the face of a severe storm or mechanical malfunction, the amazing Boeing 747 takes a sudden turn from her usual graceful flight. She yaws and banks from left to right, trying to regain her composure. Her pilots put up a great struggle and never stop to protect their plane from the storm or from the horror its damaged body is doing to itself. When she is damaged, she becomes an epitome of chaos; her control yoke shakes and her alarm systems scream at her frightened pilots, begging them to make sane and correct judgment in spite of themselves. Severe damage, however, will cause the plane’s body to rip apart releasing all cabin pressure; or just shut her engines down.
Watching the really intriguing Boeing 747 documentary really put it into perspective for me. Seeing the planes sway in the storms made me deeply feel the struggle and sorrow of anyone feeling suicidal. I clearly envisioned their inner struggle and the anguish of a self destructing system. The hopelessness and sadness within them is like a black hole, its gravity taking in every streak of light, life and love they have left. Their illness puts in them an unfathomably intense feeling of anxiety, disorientation and grief, as if moaning their own lost life. It has ceased from being about attention to being about liberation. Now, as death hovers by like a tornado, their head sets off thousands of debilitating alarms and the pressure is too much to handle. Only love and support from close and trusted family can help an affected person. They are not selfish, just terribly ill. So we have to make the right decisions in spite of ourselves and help them get better and not judge them.
Love you guys, cheers!