Sounds funny, huh.
See, I’m not talking about the guys flying the plane. I’m talking about aviators when they’re passengers. Why? Let me give you an example.
A few years ago I flew on a C-2 COD (Carrier On board Delivery) during an exercise. Sitting next to me was a former Wing Commander. He was senior so he had one of the very few windows in the aircraft. The rest of us sat in the compartment like sardines – with about the same view.
I figured I would just watch the former CAG and brace for the trap when he did. So I watched him out of the corner of my eye as I felt us take the slow turn toward what must have been the flight deck. Suddenly, our altitude began to change dramatically. It was like being on a demon-possessed elevator.
CAG just sat there.
“We’re too low,” my brain screamed to me. Visions of ramp strikes danced in my head.
“We’re too high!” We would miss and fall off the front of the deck into the ocean – and I hadn’t paid enough attention during the safety brief. “How do I get out?”
Then I saw CAG brace, so I did too.
After a couple of seconds, though, he relaxed again, glancing casually out the window. I relaxed too.
He braced. I braced.
He relaxed. So did I.
I thought to myself, “What’s going on? We must not be as close as I thought. It should only take about 45 seconds from the time we make the turn to – ”
I was thrown back in my seat (we sat backwards), my head slamming into the cushion. “Did we hit something? Do we have parachutes? Was that in the safety brief too?”
Before I could figure it all out, the plane had slowed to a crawl and we were taxiing to our spot. It was a perfect landing.
I looked at CAG and he glanced over at me.
And then he smiled.
Never fly with aviators.