On Saturday, I’ll be flying down to Texas to spend a week with family. Flying is such good blog fodder, especially if one is flying to the small town where my mom lives, Victoria, Texas.
Victoria is located near the Texas gulf coast about 120 miles southwest of Houston. There’s only one flight a day now from Houston to Victoria and it’s on one of those little bitty bouncy airplanes with propellers. The little airline that operates the daily flight, Aero Horroroso, has a history of safety violations which makes the trip all the more exciting.
(Seriously, it’s Colgan Air and it does have a record of safety violations and run-ins with government regulators.)
Since there’s only one passenger flight per day to Victoria, the little airport has multiple functions. I’m waiting for the day when the pilot announces, “Folks, were about to make our descent into Victoria Regional Airport, Day Care and Firearm Repair Center.”
Cows and possums scurry out of the way as we land.
The nearest large city with a major airport is either San Antonio or Austin which are about 90 miles away. Aero Horroroso practically lands in my mom’s back yard so the convenience factor trumps the fright factor, for me anyway.
The thing is, I’ve had a couple of really terrifying flights between Houston and Victoria. Really, really frightening.
Once, the pilot was unsure if the landing gear was down (the indicator light wasn't working) so we had to fly back to Houston and have the people in the flight tower visually verify that we had landing gear in place. There's nothing like spending an hour wondering if you'll ever walk on terra firma again.
Another time, we flew through a line of violent thunderstorms late at night and it was, by far, the most turbulent flight I’ve ever been on. Really. It was pretty unbelievable. I was sitting in the back of the plane and ice was flying out of the ice bin.
I used to be nervous about flying, but thanks to Aero Horroroso, pretty much nothing scares me anymore. No matter how turbulent a flight gets, I’m all “Ho hum – this is nothing. . . . Where’s my drink?”