Sunday, February 23, 2020

Dangerous Crosswind



They say the less, the better.

Being an air traffic controller and a frequent traveler is not a good combo at all. You see, when your flight suddenly halts in the middle of the taxiway, you'd groan, "Oh no, give us some ample spacing for each arrival. I need to fly ASAP!" or, "Why aren't we taking off yet? There is no inbound traffic at the final approach runway 06?". Then, you'll check FlightRadar24 to monitor the traffic around the aerodrome traffic zone. But, I stopped doing it because it's stressing me out, to say the least.

Anyway, earlier today, I flew CEB's A330-300 to Davao. It was a sunny day with scattered cumulus clouds, as what the pilot told us before initiating our initial descent. As we were approaching waypoint KLAFU (I know the approximate location of the waypoints of my sector by just staring at the airplane window, don't ask how and/or why), I noticed the wind was punching us. It was so strong that I heard the engines whined like a 5-year old who wanted a brand new toy car even if his parents haven't enough money to buy one just to compensate the douchebag wind to maintain its present heading.

The ordeal didn't end there. As we were on our final approach, the crosswind was so strong that the 200,000 kg flying machine started veering to the right. The engines hummed a different tune while trying its best to maintain its correct descent profile. I was expecting for a missed approach. But then again, against all odds, we landed safe and sound. Hearing the screeching of the landing gears as it touched the runway was music to our ears. We even vacated the runway via taxiway Alpha 4 right away! Kudos to the flight crew of CEB951 RPLL-RPMD! But, it won't stop me from overthinking about the different procedures, clearances, and instructions happening during the flight. At least I know the scenes behind that locked cockpit door and the communication between pilots and ATCs.

And here's my favorite part, the passenger testimonials:

40E: Agi ginoo ko, ginoo ko, ginoo ko! (Yes, auntie, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.)
40F: It's normal, te! (The same person who made chika with 40E na ibalhin daw ang airport sa Tigatto kay si Quiboloy na daw ang bag-ong tag-iya sa airport sa Sasa. Buotbuot ka dzaai.)
39A: HIHIHIHHI! Rollercoaster pala to, ma! HIHIHIHIHI
42C: Upon touch down, he made a sign of cross not once but thrice.

Yup, flying is still, and will always be the safest mode of transportation.

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