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Friday, March 16, 2012
Flying at 39,000 feet
The pilot came on after we took off from Portland, "We are now at 36,000 feet on our way to 39,000 feet." I looked at my son and said, "39,000 feet? That's pretty high. I don't know if I've ever been that high in a plane before. They usually don't fly this high it must be the storm and the jet stream being so different this year. Then when we were getting close to San Francisco to land the pilot came on the loudspeaker and said, "We are in a holding pattern for 45 minutes." So, we bounced around in the storm at lower altitudes pretty good and as a result had to stay put in our seat belts. If we were going be much longer I was getting kind of worried about there being no trips to the bathroom for any of us with all the bouncing and all. But finally someone took some pity on the passengers and we landed after about 20 minutes of slow flight while bouncing in the storm. We landed heading south which is pretty unusual because most takeoffs are heading north over towards the Golden Gate Bridge in that direction before heading whatever direction they are going to go around the world. We were all very grateful to be on the ground in the powerful rainstorm. Bouncing around in a strong storm even for someone who likes to fly like me was more than I needed and much more than most people who don't like to fly at all need.