The reason for this post it to discuss our Sunday flight. We decided at the last minute to fly to the airport in Chattanooga to surprise some family throwing a birthday party. The flight was four hours one way. The way up was long and not too eventful . We had to bypass a storm which took us out of the way by half an hour, he had to maneuver around some pesky clouds and the winds on the landing in Chattanooga were a bit rough. For four and a half hours, this was not too bad.
We spent about 3 hours with the family and then headed back home, departing at 6:15 p.m.
The skies were fine. We could see some lightning in the distance. This made me nervous but David was not concerned.
Eventually, we headed towards Jacksonville, Florida to avoid a storm. Unfortunately, we could not. The skies were dark, the rain was coming down and the clouds had dropped low. Trying to skirt around the clouds, we were smack dab in the middle of the storm.
I was not wearing a headset. I could not hear what was going on. I could see David talking to the control tower but had no idea what was going on.
I'm muttering under my breath "I want to land. I want to land. I want to land." He sees my mouth moving, takes off his headset and yells over the noise "What?" I yell back "I want to land!" He nods as if to say "DUH!" and goes back to talking to the control tower.
The rain is falling down hard. There's lightning in the sky. The clouds are blocking his view of the airport. He pulls a HARD FREAKING BANK TURN right towards the airport. All I'm thinking is "Jacob doesn't know. He doesn't know what's going on." and "Please land, please land."
I'm not making deals with God. He and I are good. There's no deal to make. We talk all the time. I know where I'm going. I'm just thinking of Jacob and Isabel. Jacob needs us. He's not ready for this. Isabel? She's asleep in the back seat of the plane, oblivious.
David is full-on concentrating. He's talking to the control tower. I can't hear anything over the noise.
Isabel wakes up. She yawns and says "Are we home? Oh, wait. This isn't the airport that we left from. Aww, man. I want to be home. I have to pee." Completely oblivious to what's going on.
David skirts a cloud blocking the runway; it's in his way and he can't land. He banks HARD right again to go to the other side of the runway, where it was clear.
He makes it around in a circle and comes straight down, kind-of high. I'm thinking to myself "We're too high!" and he just drops us down right on the runway. He tells me later this is on purpose. He does some maneuver with one flap/wing/something that drops us quickly to the runway.
We land smoothly and taxi off the runway. I let out my breath. Isabel says "When can we leave again?"
We're directed to a parking spot. The people at the airport lounge direct us to the bathrooms while David's outside closing his flight plan. I'm calm, talking to Isabel about going to the bathroom and having to be patient while we wait out the storm.
I'm in the bathroom with Isabel, who still knows nothing is amiss. She enters a bathroom stall, I turn on the tap in the sink, shove paper towels in my mouth to stifle the sobs, and start to cry. Isabel comes out, and I feign complaining about the rain ruining my makeup as I wipe my eyes.
We stay in the lounge in recliners, Isabel with a blanket and pillow, eating free snacks and watching the Disney channel, me and David snoozing off and on for over two hours before we finally get back in the plane, in the rain, to make the last 50 minute ride home.
He landed, fueled up, tied the plane down and we headed home in the car, to get to bed at 3 a.m. Monday morning.
I have never been more proud of my husband as I am right now. He will try to play it off. He'll tell you he was nervous as hell and was putting on a brave face for me. I'm here to tell you to ignore that.
Will I go flying with him again? Yes. He flew the &;^%$ out of that plane in that storm.
The man is a rock star.