Prop jobs. A nickname and possibly term of endearment for some referring to a commercial airplane that uses propellers instead of jet engines. That’s what The Boss and I boarded yesterday as we headed to one of our favorite getwaway spots. This is the first time I’ve been on a prop job since I was a kid.
The good news? It didn’t suck so bad sitting behind the engines. You only feel like you’re being gently pulled along. Sitting behind the engines on a jet, it feels like you’re getting your guts yanked out and your body is being left behind.
The bad news? The plane sits so low to the ground and the wings sit so high on the plane that coming in for a landing in the dark gave me a really weird feeling. The reflection of the plane’s flashing lights off the ground made me feel like the plane was coming in too low. It’s almost like when a fighter jet goes to land on the carrier but is lower than the carrier deck. That really sucked.
The last time I was on a prop job, I was flying to go see some of my grandparents. My parents decided to fly me down there because I wanted to go for a few days and my parents would be done there later to where they could pick me up. The first leg of my flight was on a 737. Typical flight, typical experience. Get off at its stop through a jetway directly into the airport. The plane for the 2nd leg was a prop job. I had already exited one terminal to ride an inter-terminal bus. I got to leave that terminal into the steamy summer afternoon because there was no jetway for this plane. So I walk out onto the tarmac and was directed to one of four planes sitting there. I didn’t think too much about it because it was supposed to be a short flight. However, after sitting on this plane for 15 minutes (this was pre-TSA invasive body scanning…you often sat on a plane for only about 5-7 minutes before you left the airport at that time), I was getting antsy. But it didn’t take too long for them to come on the plane PA system (they could have just yelled…that’s how small the plane was) to tell us that they were working on a mechanical problem with the plane, and we’d have to switch to a different plane if they didn’t get it fixed in the next 10 minutes.
Now I’m really not happy to be on that plane.
However, 5 minutes later, they made an announcement that the repairs were done and we could leave. But I didn’t want to leave on that plane. I valued my life.
There were storms along the way for this leg of the flight. I already expected turbulence. But as I sat in the plane looking out the window, I noticed something disturbing. Every time we would fly out of a cloud, the wing would settle back down against the fuselage as if the bolts or rivets holding the wing on were either loose or missing.
Forty-five minutes later I was on the ground meeting my grandparents. I was happy to be out of the sky that day.