This past week I’ve been out of town, working at a partner pharmacy up north in the lovely town of Rockhampton, also known as “Rocky”. In the last two weeks (and a bit), I have made four flights, going to and from Rocky, with a couple more to come in the near future.
I don’t travel much, and I don’t fly much either. I used to get headaches from being on planes, but I’ve figured out that as long as I can look out of a window as we’re taking off and landing, I’m usually ok. It’s probably just a motion sickness thing. Once we’re in the air, though, and the pilot’s turned off the seatbelt sign, I can read, take a nap or watch a movie, and be totally fine. I suppose you don’t really feel the movement when you’re cruising at a fixed altitude.
This requisite that I have a view of the world passing by outside means that I prefer window seats on planes. On all of my four flights these last few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to always have a window seat. (To be fair, the first of this series of flights was on a smaller plane with only four seats per row (two on either side of the aisle), so my chances of getting a window seat were kind of 50/50.)
My seat has also tended to be level with or near the wings. This means that my view of the surrounding landscape is partially obstructed, but also that I can spend a fair bit of time looking at a wing of the plain.
To me, airplanes are an amazing feat of engineering. The very concept of constructing a machine out of metal that can defy gravity and carry people into the skies – it’s all rather mind-blowing. Seeing the reality of it is awe-inspiring.
Perhaps it’s even more impressive when you look at one of the wings of the plane, and see that it’s all held together with tiny screws.
Well, ok, they’re not really that tiny, but they’re small relative to what they’re holding together.
At one point (can’t remember which flight it was – maybe my second flight to Rocky), shortly after take-off, I was looking at the tip of the wing, and you could actually see it shake or tremble a bit. It’s not really something to instil you with a lot of confidence in the vehicle that’s carrying you thousands of metres off the ground…