April 03, 2008

We Hates It


Regular readers know that ol' Robbo is no fan of air travel. After all, had God intended Llamas to fly, He'd have given them wings.

Nonetheless, life is life and we do the things that need to be done. And in all the travel I've been on in recent months, I've gotten considerably better at calming my fears.

Nonetheless, there's still one aircraft that I particularly cannot stand, and that is the Canadair CRJ 100/200 series. For whatever reason of aerodynamics, it appears that the approved glide-slope for landing one of these beasts requires a high and hard approach, capped off with a most alarming nose-down attitude until just off the tarmac.

It also seems that every time I land in one, it is in the teeth of a gusty cross-wind, something the CRJ does not appear to like very much. Of course, the bobbing, weaving and juking might also be due to the fact that the pilots who fly these crates are way down the totem pole and are either young rooks just starting out or else embittered older losers who have nothing to look forward to and therefore no real reason to care.

And by the way, in terms of scheduling, service and general who-really-gives-a-flying-rat's-patooieness, United Express out of Dulles takes the proverbial cake. Sheesh.

UPDATE: Oh, and just so you don't think I'm ranting against small jets in general (although I don't much like them), I do not have nearly the same gripe with the Embraer ERJ jets that I sometimes have to take: much more passenger-friendly flight characteristics imho.

Posted by Robert at April 3, 2008 04:05 PM | TrackBack

I'm with you. I am hardly ever NOT motion sick, and a pretty good flyer in general, but the closest I EVER came to the little white bag was during the landing of one of these nasty little CRJs.

Posted by: caltechgirl at April 3, 2008 04:36 PM

Most of the time a hard landing in a CRJ is because that is the first time a pilot has landed such an aircraft...being licensed in planes from small to about that size, but having only flow the small one until flying a CRJ full of passengers. And they were not all together very good at landing the little ones smooth.

My fear of airline flying has actually increased since marrying a flight instructor. Go figure.

Posted by: April at April 4, 2008 07:22 AM

Flying in general sucks, get to the airport way in advance -- have to leave the Swiss Army Knife & Leatherman at home + no liquids, gels or shaving cream -- sit around and wait, take connecting flights that are at the other end of the airport or in a different building altogether, wait for luggage, cramped seating, ugh. The only time I have any semblance of fear though, is landing at Reagan National, where if you look out the window all you see is water, even when you're at the top of the sailboat masts. "Excuse me, Mr. Pilot sir, but shouldn't there be land when we are, ah, landing?"

I may take the train to Virgina this summer. Looks to be cheaper than both plane and car.

Posted by: rbj at April 4, 2008 09:31 AM

Not being an executive-type, if I fly once a year, it's a busy travel schedule. But I remember living in San Diego, and how freaky it was to land there -- not because you approach over water, but because you're in your final descent over downtown. pilots hate it, they have to approach on a very flat slope until the last minute, when they drop like a rock.

Posted by: Boy Named Sous at April 5, 2008 12:58 PM