turbulence

Leeward, clear air

An impression of the scene through the window during a turbulent flight from San Jose to Salt Lake City.

The flight crew asked the passengers to use the restroom before the aircraft pushed back from the boarding door.

The pilot’s door closure announcement was fascinating (to me), alarming (to the lady seated behind me) and clarified the reason for the request:

“…we’ll be at about 35,000 ft, about an hour and 15 minutes with about a 180, uh…85 miles per hour tailwind along the way. It will be a rough ride, though, …we just came from Salt Lake and the whole western U.S. with this storm system moving through is just turbulent. You’re all taking your turn getting to the restroom, and we appreciate that. Once we get everybody through that, we’ll push off the gate and be on our way. We’ll try to find a smoothish altitude with a decent ride.”

With hindsight, I wish the pilot had just quoted Margot Channing (All About Eve, 1950): “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

The flight was as advertised: turbulent. Not as turbulent as the flight from Santa Ana to Seattle the night before, however.

Fortunately, the flight attendant passed out extra “sick sacks” as a pre-flight precaution.

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