Flight Report: 'PRETTY MUCH EVERY ONE ON THE PLANE THREW UP'
Welcome to another installment of "Maybe Just Don't Fly."
Photo via Justin Fenton
It's time to finally accept the truth: Humans were never meant to fly. The Wright brothers' century-long experiment may have helped us achieve our skyward dreams, but at what cost? We sent our pets to a watery grave for a seat on the plane. We endure flaming carry-on bags and noxious shit smells for a chance to soar through the skies. We put up with the nightmare of TSA just to spend a few hours cramped in a flying metal tube.
But when will the world realize that our attempts at flight are just another sad example of the hubris our species? This is not a hypothetical question. The answer is right now, thanks to a new story that should scare us all away from air travel once and for all.
On Friday morning, a flight landing at Dulles International Airport near DC ran into a bit of the late winter storm that's currently nailing the East Coast, and the turbulence was so bad that "pretty much everyone" was puking in their seats, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Sun reporter Justin Fenton unearthed the NOAA's Aviation Weather Center report from the vomit-splattered journey, and it sounds pretty ghastly. Usually these pilot reports are full of robotic shorthand to track bad weather, like "MOD CHOP" and "RM TB ON DEPARTURE," but a few longer sentences amid the standard jargon paint an almost haiku-like description of the scene.
"VERY BUMPY ON DESCENT," the report says. "PRETTY MUCH EVERY ONE ON THE PLANE THREW UP. PILOTS WERE ON THE VERGE OF THROWING UP."
Sure, there's not a whole lot there on the brush. But it doesn't take much reading between the lines before the entire spew session comes into focus: an airplane cabin bouncing and rocking, mothers frantically tightening the straps on their children's seat belts while turbulence rips them back and forth. Alarming shouts in the background grow into gurgling wails as vomit bubbles up in throats.
Hands frantically reaching into seat-back pockets, fumbling to find the barf bag that's always missing when you need it the most. Then, finally accepting defeat and puking heartily between the pages of last month's Sky magazine. The sound of one man retching multiplies until whole rows are hurling in unison, the plane filling with the general din of guttural animal noises and the sharp smell of stomach acids. The air stinging the eyes as it cycles through plane's ventilation system.
And up in the cabin, fingers white-knuckled on the controls, a pilot and co-pilot swallowing back half-digested Panda Express from a stopover in DFW, trying to take shallow breaths to not fully inhale the scents that still manage to slip in through the closed cabin doors as they hurtle toward the runway, and...
Uh, OK, well, maybe all of that doesn't quite come through in the brief report, but you get the idea. Air travel is horrible, so let's just give up and collectively accepts our land-bound fate. Next time you're on a plane and turbulence hits or someone is drying a pair of underwear in the air vents next to you or whatever, remember this moment, right now. We tried to warn you. We tried to help.