Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I'm leavin on a jet plane

OH MY...weight lifting kicked my shrinking butt last night!!!!

Plan on yoga tonight and a 36 minute (hopefully 3 mile) run afterwards.

Cool Story:

On July 23rd 1997 I was flying to Litchfield Beach to meet my family for vacation. At the time my Dad was the Chairman on the NTSB and was investigating several airplane incidents. I was also doing research for a company that was developing a neural network system that would allow pilots information in the best way possible, based on their individual differences, during crisis situations. So, I was reading accident reports to see if there was any information on pilot response that might confirm my theory that pilots would respond better in stressful situations if they are given important information in a individualized manner.

ANYWAY...It was one of those days that you DO NOT want to fly...grey outside and raining. Scott basically had to push me on the plane (he was staying behind). I was so scared I was shaking and felt sick and started to cry hysterically. I had a hooded sweatshirt with me and pulled it over my head and sat there shaking. All of a sudden the pilot's voice came over the intercom and he said something to the effect of:

I know that the weather looks bad outside and that many of you might be nervous about flying today. I want you to know that I have a wife and kids at home and my life is very important to me. I would not fly today if I thought it was too dangerous.

All of a sudden there was a person that I trusted flying the plane and my fears were calmed, to the point that I was not hysterical. When we safely landed I grabbed the only thing I could find, the barf bag from the seat pocket and scribbled out a note explaining how my Dad's position and my research had induced a fear of flying and that what he said had made me feel so much better. On the way off the plane I asked the stewardess to give my note to the Captain.

Recently (March, this year...ten years later!) my father received a letter from that Captain...Captain Lucas who is no longer flying puddle jumpers and is now an Airbus Captain. He says that he was going through a box of things and found my note. He googled my Dad and found our website. He went on to say that he developed the pattern of letting the passengers know that a he is as concerned as the passengers as making it to their destination safely. In my note I said that he made my day and he wanted to let me know that my trust in him had made his day!

I am in the process of writing Captain Lucas back...he is a man that I will never forget!

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
cause I'm leavin on a jet plane
Don't know when Ill be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go (PP&M)


Matt said...

Saw your post on Steve's Tri Station about Pat Conroy. He's one of my wife's favorite authors. I finally picked up "Lords of Discipline" which is great so far. If you haven't read his "cook book" you need to pick it up. My wife loves it.

JohnnyTri said...

..dont know when I'll be back again.. great sing-a-long in the movie Armageddon!

That God for caring people like Cap. Lucas


Andra Sue said...

Interesting story, very interesting company. My husband is a pilot. In fact, do you know anyone that's in need of a slightly used corporate jet pilot? In the DFW area? Because I know one that needs a jet to fly. Haha.

SkiRough said...

What a great practice for him to come over the intercom like that! Very cool.

I was also recently put at ease by pilots, although not by anything they said. On my flight back from Nashville- when they came out to use the bathroom, I noticed that they were both HOT. :)

Matt said...

Definitely Auburn. I can tolerate the Vols. Thanks for the kind words.