Am writing this a couple of miles above ground in an aeroplane that should have landed 30 minutes ago.
Our departure from Edinburgh featured a refreshing breeze and clear blue skies, but as we got into East Anglia, the cloud that had settled over that area all day surrounded us. Not a good sign, so when our cheery captain came on the PA to say there was nothing to worry about, our hearts lifted.
So the descent to Nch began, and we finally broke through the cloud at, I would guess, about 500 metres. At which point the pilot decided this was not he landing he wanted, grabbed the stick thing that he has in front of him, and like a WWI flying ace, we pulled out, up, and back into the cloud.
This is a fairly small plane, the wheels were down and we were landing, so I have a horrible feeling that when we came out of the cloud he couldn’t actually see where the airport was. Surely you can’t get lost in a plane these days can you?
Incidentally, this does remind me of the journeys I used to take from Norwich to Edinburgh years ago, in far smaller planes. Pre 9-11, if you sat at the front of the plane, all that separated you from the pilot was a small grey curtain, and you would always see, next to all the controls, the
key navigational guide, which was the AA Book Of The Road. I asked the pilot about this once, and he said that this was indeed what they used to fly with – for Edinburgh to Norwich for example, you follow the A1 and turn off at Peterborough.
Anyway, 30 mins after we should have landed, our pilot tells us that he’s going to ‘have a bit of a think’ about options, but not to worry as he’s got plenty of fuel. And while he’s thinking, he’s going to switch off the seatbelt sign if any of us want to move about. Bizarre.
45 mins after we should have landed, and the scenery (white cloud) hasn’t changed. Mrs Emu will, by now, be slightly irritated. No word from Captain Mannering in the cockpit.
60 mins after we should have landed. Everyone being very calm. Stewardesses wandering up and down not doing much and avoiding eye contact. Fair enough, that’s what I’d do, if I were them, although I’d draw the line at the stupid haircut. I’ve now officially decided that I don’t like flying. Some people do this for pleasure, you know. I understand the message from Captain Crunch now though – he was expecting to be some time in the air.
Just had an update – they were expecting weather improvement on the hour, and this hasn’t happened. I didn’t think weather was so precise as to change on the hour, but you’ve got to trust these people, haven’t you? Well, haven’t you? as Fagin might say. This is something that vexes me a little at the best of times, and it worries me more in these circumstances. Every day we put our trust in taxi drivers, airline pilots, cooks and many more people who we don’t know from Adam. Yet in my darker moments, I feel I can’t trust about 10% of the people I meet, a number that steadily increases in London, in pubs, clubs, or at anything involving the word ‘festival’. So what if Captain Flack is one of them? Or what if he’s having a bad day? Probably best not to think about it. I’ll look out of the window. Update – still white clouds.
80 minutes – the man in the seat next to me is taking an unhealthy interest in the ‘business’ article about Caprice and her lingerie range. With picture of her apparently falling out of her business suit. I think I just heard someone get a text and wonder if I should risk texting Mrs E. Best not. I don’t know technically how such interference works, but apparently mobile phones operating can make planes plummet from the sky, and I wouldn’t like to have that on my conscience. Not that I would, but you know what I mean.
We appear to be climbing again. Got a not good feeling about this; I think we’re headed for somewhere less cloudy. Oh dear. I’ll have a little nap now and hope it all goes away. The bloke next to me has closed his eyes. Probably thinking about Caprice’s fiscal planning.
120 mins – sod it, tried to send a txt to Mrs E. No signal – pah! Curse the
Captain Fantastic says we’re going to try again in 10 mins! Using a different runway. I’m slightly worried that I thought Nch only had one runway, but the Caprice fan next to me assures me that if you approach from a different direction, it counts as two. So it’s been a rich learning
experience sitting next to him.
Switching Blackberry off as Ms Terrible Haircut glowering as I write that.
130 mins – hit the runway about 90 seconds after coming out of the cloud. Everyone suddenly starts talking. A round of applause for Captain Marvel.
Ms Flock Of Seagulls wishes us well, welcomes us to Norwich and hopes to see us all again soon.
Not bloody likely.