On Wings of Steel

FringeMan has a real fear of flying.  According to him, it’s not flying that is the problem, it’s plummeting through the air at 500 miles per hour for a full eight minutes before crashing and burning. 

That’s the problem he has with flying. 

He somehow thinks that last eight minutes will feel like eighty years of sheer terror.  Now, while I will admit that my imagination can come up with a few bizarre scenarios as I’m soaring through the sky, his irrational fear of flying is really not justified.

If  my own fear of air travel were measured against the number of car accidents I’ve witnessed right outside our front door, I’d take a plane to the supermarket.  FringeMan does not agree.  He’d drive to Europe if it were possible.  Truth be told, he’d probably take a ship to Europe before getting on a Trans-Atlantic flight. 

I would be sightseeing on the other side of the world waiting for him to arrive with scurvy. 

When he finished school in Florida, he took my son and drove all the way to Maine.  I took my daughter and flew to Atlanta for a visit and met him two weeks later at the airport in Maine. 

I’m just not a good car traveler.  The crusted drool on my shoulder from sleeping for eight hours on the side window doesn’t look good when you arrive someplace.  Let’s not even discuss the deep-set red gouge in my face from the seatbelt.

Recent flight reports freak FringeMan out.  He may never fly again. 

There was the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River, the mysterious disappearing flight between Brazil and Paris, the emergency landing on a road outside of Atlanta and let’s not forget all the special documentaries on air travel…ya, he’ll never fly again.

Our first flight as a couple was from Maine to Atlanta.  I was pregnant with my son and we were going to  visit my family for Thanksgiving.  We left Maine in the ice and snow and our plane ascended at what seemed to be a 90 degree angle.  Since FringeMan was on the fast track to becoming a preacher, boarding this plane while inebriated was out of the question.  He could have been professionally medicated, something I would force before our next flight; however, he never made it to the doctors. 

He’s got issues, but I love him.

Seriously, I didn’t think he would make the flight alive.  The rest of the people on that plane were about to land in one piece, but FringeMan was spontaneously combusting right before my eyes.

FringeMan in Flight

FringeMan in Flight

I hate to see what would happen to him if he’d been on my flight to Florida several years ago.  We had just taken off and were settling comfortably into our seats when we crashed in mid-air.  I saw a pair of teeth racing past my left eye as my body was flung forward and my face lodged in the seat in front of me.  The poor granny sitting beside me couldn’t keep hold of all her parts. 

As I plucked my eyelashes from the fabric of the seat cushion, the concerned man to my right says, “Are you alright?”

Not one of my best moments, but I was certainly doing better than granny who would not get to eat her in-flight pretzels.

Turns out we hit a flock of birds.  I never knew birds could cause so much damage.  Amid the smell of burning goose, similar to Christmas dinner at the Chrachits, the pilot announced we were making an emergency landing because the birds had damaged one of those ginormous engines.

We were none the worse for the wear and granny finally found her teeth, but we did need a new plane.

Ok, so granny never really lost her teeth, but I thought they were about to go any second…trust me!

Although I need to keep my imagination in check while in flight, I don’t share my husband’s terror.  There’s only one flight I wouldn’t board.  That’s the flight my mother is on.  Before you judge me for being harsh, she has problems EVERT TIME she flies. 

I’ll make a public service announcement after she purchases her next ticket.

Maybe she’ll share her dreadful air stories someday.

What about you?  Have you had any airplane incidences?

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21 thoughts on “On Wings of Steel

  1. Erin

    I suddenly can’t remember. You have a real gift of making me laugh. If I were that granny I’d up and lose my darned teeth again!

  2. Nina in Portugal

    I’ll board a European Budget Airline in less than two weeks. I’m with Mama Belle….”budget” and “flight” are two words that should never be put together.

    I fear the exact same thing that Fringeman fears. I’ll be praying extra hard those few hours in flight on my way to Madrid.

  3. Jen

    I would also much rather fly than ride in a car. It’s just so much faster! I don’t know what I would do if I were scared to fly. That 18 hour flight from Joburg to NY would send me over the edge. Praise God, even in all my times of flying, I’ve never had a scary experience other than bad turbulence and rough landings. I do pray every time I walk down the tarmac. My kids love to fly so I don’t think they will ever face a fear of the skies either. Thank goodness!

  4. Mama Belle

    I’m with Fringeman. I’m not a fan of flying, but I do it. In fact, we’ve already bought our tickets to NY and bought Jet Blue and am quite nervous about not using American Airlines or Continental. The words “budget” and “flight” should go together.

  5. robinaltman

    Wow. FringeMan has a really good point. Suddenly, I’m afraid of flying.

    When I was a child psych fellow, I took a flight where I was next to a kid flying by himself who sobbed the whole flight. I tried desperately to help him. I told stories, I chatted, I made hand puppets. He kept crying. The stewardess asked me if I’d trade seats with a child psychiatrist who volunteered to help the kid. Sure enough, the woman had him coloring pictures in 2 seconds flat. Show off.

  6. Evergreen

    I don’t mind flying…if I’m really tired, then I can even sleep through screaming children.

    Worst thing for me is late planes, missing connecting flights, sleeping in the airport and luggage not arriving with me. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

  7. Hat Chick

    Boarding air France to Paris next Tuesday. Hope they get those air speed tube things fixed on all the planes.

    Once I hit a BAD thunderstorm traveling home from a business trip in a prop plane when 7 months pregnant with Skibbie. Plane dropped straight down but recovered. The flight attendant was sitting right in front of me in his jumpseat. We just kept staring at each other, gauging each other’s response. When the plane leveled out, we burst out laughing, releasing the tension. The rest of the passengers didn’t think it was very funny.

  8. Tabitha (From Single to Married)

    Oh man, don’t remind me of the fact that I’m getting on a plane tomorrow. I, too, have a fear of flying, one that has only manifested itself in recent years. I tell you, ignorance really is bliss. When I was younger, I didn’t realize all the horrible things that could go wrong midflight. And I’m with the Fringeman – I’d drive to Europe if I could. In fact, for our honeymoon, we took a ship to England instead of flying. 🙂 Of course we had to fly back… But it actually was a good experience. It helps to travel business class!

  9. Merryheart

    I love FringeMan’s re-enactment!

    Soliloquy said it well: “Not one of us has a guarantee for the next hour of life.” And we must know we’re ready, at any moment, to meet our Savior.


  10. Lois Lane II

    I LOVE flying!! I hate waiting at the airport and going through security and being fearful that the plane will leave me, but I absolutely love to fly. I like the clouds and the way it feels like a roller coaster when it’s going up — heck, I even like turbulance (not much, though, haha!). Then again, I have little common sense, too…lol!

  11. caprik

    “poor granny sitting beside me couldn’t’t keep hold of all her parts. ” LOL!!!

    Your poor Mom! She should never vacation with Honey then, they might cause an unavoidable catastrophe somewhere in the world. Bad juju.

  12. Cher

    This will sound SO dirty but I’m gonna say it anyway…I saw your husband’s uvula!!!! LOL.

    My sense of humor has always gotten me into trouble. Same with you, I’ll bet!

    The Texas Woman

  13. Mom

    And I keep on flying!!! I hate car travel when taking a plane gets you there so much faster and without the “deep-set red gouge in my face from the seatbelt” look.

  14. Pingback: » Photos From Inside United 6543’s Emergency Landing Last Nigh stake

  15. Pilar

    I shouldn´t have read this post, I am getting in a plane for 9 hours in 2 weeks….. 🙂

    So funny he let you take and post that photo… so funny!!!

  16. David

    At one time, I was a private pilot. I had to give it up because I became afraid of flying too. There were a few “incidents” that I won’t elaborate on. The main thing is nobody died.

  17. Domestically Challenged

    Scary! I’d have pee’d or something similiarly gross. The teeth thing though? What a memory to have! I love it!
    My last memory of a flight was with a two year old.
    Who hadn’t napped all day.
    Need I say more?


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