Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"Winging To Paradise, 2015"

December 25, 2015.

Don’t ask me how an airplane works.  I don’t even know how a toaster works.  You plug it in and it gets hot.  Fine.  But you plug in an electric clock and it ticks. 

Machines, man.  How do they know what they are supposed to do? 

(Ding!  Ding!  Ding!   I believe I have hit a new low in personal silliness.  That's why I keep writing - to obliterate my old records.)

What I do know is that, although airplanes are exceedingly heavy – I defy anyone to lift even a smaller one over their heads – in the overwhelming of majority of cases, airplanes continue to stay up there even when Isaac Newton and other gravity specialists would predict unequivocally that they wouldn’t.

I also know that, for reasons – again beyond my understanding – although they have gotten substantially better at doing things – if you ignore “Customer Service” which come to think of it is exactly what they do – airplanes are still required to take off facing the direction of the oncoming wind.

Which means that in Los Angeles, all departing aircraft must take off facing West. 

As a result, when you are flying to, say, New York, Toronto or London – all of which are located east of Los Angeles – the departing airplane takes off facing the opposite direction to which it will ultimately be traveling. 

Which seems strange, to me, inconvenient even.  But – being the fastest way of getting places so if you don’t like it you can walk – airplanes make all the rules.  Meaning we take off in the wrong direction and we don’t ask questions.  Except perhaps “Why didn’t the ticket prices get cheaper when the gas prices went down?”  Which has nothing to do with taking off backwards; you just need an outlet for your confusion.  And also by the way, why didn’t they?

Heading to the above-mentioned destinations, once it becomes airborne over the Pacific – coincidentally almost directly over our house, so stay up there for a number of reasons – the plane executes an easy “one-eighty” turnaround, proceeding finally in the direction maps and compasses would overwhelmingly suggest. 

That is the habitual routine. 

You’re flying East?

You take off facing West. 

And you turn around in the sky.

In the past thirty-plus years of traveling, I get on a plane and that is inevitably what I expect.

With a single exception.

When we get on a plane, it gets airborne over the Pacific and it doesn’t turn around, the message is indisputably and exhilaratingly certain:

We are goin’ to Hawaii.

Hawaii is west of Los Angeles, so there is no turning around.  If you did, you would not get there.  Well, you would, but it would take forever. 

It happened today – we took off and we did not turn around.

Hello Honolulu.

1 comment:

Don said...

Got you covered, going & coming, aloha!