Something Happened Today | Airplane Freefall, It’s Good to be Alive

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Lift OffSomething happened today. I was on board an airplane, preparing for departure to Sydney. Everything was pretty normal, “cabin crew prepare for takeoff” and all that jazz. Engines fired, we sped forward with force as normal.. Then, a short thirty-seconds into the incline, the left side of the aircraft dipped dramatically & quickly, oddly for that point in an ascent. Fight or flight mode set in… WTF. Then another fifteen-seconds and there was trouble. Big trouble, like in the movies… Major turbulence, powerful jolting, huge movements side to side, up and down. There was silence over the PA system, no reassurance – just silence, allowing amplification of the sound of the jolts as they got worse and worse, and were increasing in severity, headed seemingly & uncontrollably towards disaster. It was bad. Passengers were screaming, there were tears. My eyes started crying (even though they were closed), my hands went sweaty & into fists, my heart pumped wildly & high in my throat, and my mind was in overdrive… Mainly reliving memories like the time I saw that plane-crash movie “Flight” last month.

Then came the free-fall. Plane, falling in the sky in a brief moment-in-time. People’s arms reached to grab, to hold, to stop, to save.
Like bungee, like skydive, like Rollercoaster, like death. And we fell. Who knows how far? How long for? Time slowed.
Everyone was lifted from their seats at once.. Heads bopped up above the standard level you see them at. There was a penetrable, long, piercing sound of terrified screaming, in unison. Brace. I remember lifting my head at this point, looking forward and talking to myself slowly in an invisible mirror on the back-of-the-seat in front of me “this is it, the day & the way you will die, you’re ok, you’re ready, ok, it’s time”.

Three minutes felt like three hours, the stranger to my left, traveling alone, stared at me & we locked eyes for long-seconds until he closed his & they remained closed.

Slowly, through the incline we steadied out over the next 5 minutes, still braced, awaiting the next free-fall.

We flew, we landed, I opened my bag, I updated my status. ALIVE. Good to be here x


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