It seemed unlikely that I would ever get on a small plane… I had enough trouble getting on a big one!! I don’t like flying and the thought of sitting on a tiny plane filled me with fear.
But somehow my partner had persuaded me that it would be MUCH better to fly the forty-five minutes from Sydney to Newcastle, rather than take the scenic train journey of three hours. I was all for sitting on a train for three hours, but in the end I relented and the thought of cutting down the journey time won out – particularly as it would be the end of a very long journey from the UK. Plus, the plane wouldn’t be THAT small… would it??
We landed at Sydney and transferred over to the domestic terminal, with my stomach doing little somersaults. We checked in and as our departure time neared, we made our way to the gate.
Is it like that plane, I asked, pointing at a small jet engine plane sitting on the tarmac. That’s not too bad I thought.
Yes, yes, it’s all good, my partner responded in a very non-committal tone.
We were ushered through a door by the ground crew and put on a bus. So, where is this plane then, I thought? As we made our way out onto the tarmac my eyes fell on a tiny plane with the logo of our airline on the tail.
I turned in horror to my partner… noooo!!! A small…very small… aircraft… with propellers, I repeat, with propellers… stood waiting for us…oh the absolute horror! This was NOT what I had signed up for!!! Naively, I didn’t really believe it would be a propeller plane, don’t ask me why! Too late now though and I very reluctantly exited the bus and walked up the few small steps and into the aircraft.
It was tiny, definitely the smallest plane I had been on. A row of single seats on one side and two on the other. The nerves and fear started to grow and I couldn’t help but spill a few tears as I locked myself into position with my seat belt VERY firmly fastened.
I was sat in the aisle seat and if I cocked my head to one side I could see down the plane, into the cockpit…and beyond…!! My worst nightmare realised!!
To say I was terrified was an understatement. I closed my eyes and gripped the seat as we bumped down the runway and took off shakily into the skies.
I spent the entire flight in a very tense state, reaching for my partner for reassurance at every bump and movement! Forty-five minutes later we made a steep descent into Williamstown airport and I thanked the universe that we had made it in one piece.
We were booked to return to Sydney by the same method…not a prospect that I relished, but this time I was a little more prepared! On boarding the teeny-tiny plane we found it was just us and another passenger.
Take off took the same pattern – me clutching the seat as if my life depended on it with my eyes closed, desperately trying not to cry…and failing!
However, this time, once we were up, I could relax a bit…
Enough to release my vice like grip on the seat and my partner’s arm…
Enough to glance down the aisle towards the cockpit…
Enough to get my camera hopefully out of my bag…
Enough to actually move to a window seat…
I managed to look out of the window and admire the view…and what a view it was! The New South Wales coastline spread out beneath us in glorious fashion.
And as we started our approach into Sydney, we swung by the city and we were treated to a fantastic view of the harbour, bridge and all!
Somehow I managed to keep snapping away as we came into land – a total and utter miracle! I honestly don’t know how I did that!
I know there are smaller planes out there (I don’t want to meet one!), but this was small enough for me! I’ve done that journey a few times now, and whilst I have gotten a little more used to it, to be honest, I will usually opt for the three hour train journey if I have a choice!
Fear of flying is a funny old beast and is something that I am constantly working on conquering…but I can safely say small planes are still not my thing!
Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge – Unlikely