September 8, 2014

That Age Old Fear – Part 2

Read Part 1 of my story here.

As I shared with you last week, I have struggled with the fear of flying for approximately fifteen years.  My anxiety was quite high last week, when I needed to go to Rosita on a small twelve-passenger plane.  I thought I would show you a bit of what I learned on my flight to Rosita.


This was our twelve-seater plane.  Looking at this photo makes me cringe.


As I mentioned in my previous post, the inside of the plane feels like a mini-van.  But then all of a sudden your safe mini-van is going really fast, lifts from the ground and is up in the air.  Talk about feeling vulnerable!


Before flying on La Costeña, I do not recall watching a pilot throughout a flight.  I had always assumed that my pilots were working very hard to keep me and their other passengers safe.  But after being on a few of these flights, I have realized that auto-pilot does the majority of the work and that the pilot is there for take-off, landing and any potential problems.  Thus, the reason why pilots can read comics and sleep while they are in flight.  Before, this would have totally freaked me out.  Now it helps me to realize that this is not such a complicated process.


Pilots need visibility?  Think again.  This was another tough one for me to swallow.  The sun was quite bright on one of our flights, and so black sun reflectors were put up in the windows, meaning there was no seeing out of the front window.  I have also seen newspapers put up in the windows.  I guess visibility isn’t so important when flying.

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The land below is beautiful when one is able to calm themselves and is brave enough to look out.

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I thoroughly enjoy geography and was able to look out the window and determine with my seatmate what city, town, volcano, lake or mountain range we were currently flying over.  Wait, am I enjoying this?


While the clouds caused some bumpiness, they were also quite gorgeous.  I tried to focus on the latter.


Here is a selfie of me mid-flight, sort of freaked out, but trying to survive the flight.  Notice my eyes, which show that I did not sleep well the night before due to anxiety and negative thinking.


Cellphone reception was working in the air.  It was a nice way to distract me for a minute or two.  And Kevin thought it was super cool that he got a text from the sky.


This is the security guard at the airport.  From what I have been told, his main job is to keep cattle off the runway as there have been incidents with planes and cattle in the past.  Just google Rosita, Nicaragua and the first google image that will come up is a plane that crashed into two cows.

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This is the pista or runway.  It is a sort of dirt, sort of grassy field.  It is owned by a local farmer which recently caused flights to stop when he wanted a higher usage payment.  La Costeña and this farmer have since sorted things out and it is back in use.


Yep friends, that is the airport.  Unfortunately refreshments are not available and the bathrooms are outhouses off to the right.  Passengers must check-in at the town office two hours in advance in order to weigh themselves and their bags.  However, there was no security check.


On my return flight to Managua, after some bumpy skies, I almost wanted to go up and hug the pilots that got me to the ground safely.  While I chose not to do this, an older pilot must have noticed me.  He sent one of the baggage handlers to give me his phone number with hopes of getting mine.  I thought it would a good learning experience to write down Kevin’s number.  I gave Kevin a heads up about this and was surprised three days later when I got a phone call from the pilot on my phone.  I confused Kevin’s phone number for mine and the trick backfired on me.


So while this flying thing continues to be a struggle for me, I keep marching forward.  It is something that I want to understand better and feel more comfortable with.  While it is quite anxiety provoking at times, I continue booking those tickets and boarding those planes.  Someday I believe that I will actually be able to enjoy it.

I will leave you with a few more beautiful aerial pictures of Nicaragua.  Seriously, this country is so diverse and gorgeous.  The last photo is actually of video of my landing in Rosita.  Enjoy! DSCN0875IMG_1237IMG_1235 IMG_1320IMG_1239

La Costeña Landing in Rosita


Anonymous said...

this is great. thanks for sharing!

lisa said...

Wow that plane was tiny- and the "airport" seems like quite an experience! Good for you for conquering your flying fears! Loved the post;) Lisa F