Project Runway

by on December 3, 2008 at 11:10 am

The passengers unaware of the impending adventure[/caption]s

The passengers unaware of the impending adventure

There’s nothing as adrenaline-inducing as a plane landing in less than optimal conditions. Today our team of bloggers got to enjoy(?) a dicey descent after a thunderstorm caused us to change airports on the fly.

We were headed for Lanseria airport, but the massive black clouds forced a 45 minute game of storm chasers before the pilot diverted to nearby Oliver Tambor airport. The charter plane is open to the front, so we could see the pilots manning the controls while clearly struggling with the elements.

As we approached the lighted runway, our aircraft was continually being pushed about 10 degrees to the right, and the pilot grappled with the wheel, turning left, left, and left again. It reminded me of my meager attempts at Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Every correction was met with an equal force of wind, and my heart started pumping as we got close enough to see the narrow white lines of the runway. Even after the wheels seemed ready to scrape the ground we were still a few degrees off course, but our adept pilot readjusted and got us squared up on the runway only seconds before touchdown.

I couldn’t wait to speak with the captain when deplaning. When asked if this were one of his trickier landings, he said “Most definitely,” with an exasperated sigh. “It was a struggle all the way down.”