As mentioned in two previous posts, I traveled to Antigua on Sunday. As usual, my trip is always an eventful one with some amount of excitement. I met a friend at the airport who was actually going on the same training session as me and was sitting in the seat beside me so that was cool. We left a little bit late (not surprising) and expected to land in Antigua at 3:55 p.m.
By the time we took off and were on our way, there was a lot of turbulence as a result of the weather system over the Caribbean. We took it at face value until we were told by the pilot that we should be arriving in Antigua at 4:00 p.m and at 4:40, we were still in the air circling around the airport because of poor visibility, hence preventing the plane to land, in addition to the fact that there were 2 planes ahead of us also waiting to land. You can imagine the anxiety experienced feeling the plane speed up, then slow down, wheels opened only to speed up again, wheels go back in and we do that for a couple of times well without success. A gentleman across the row took the whole thing so seriously that he took out the life jacket from underneath his seat! That was not a comforting sight at all.
We all know that Air J has some of the best pilots in the world. I have flown on several airlines both international and domestic and am yet to come across pilots that handle the aircraft with such skill and expertise. This was a BWIA flight and when the pilot finally landed, I thought that one of the plane’s tires must have sustained some serious damage. I mean, it could almost have been described as a “crash” landing the way it sounded and the way it felt. Nonetheless, this was the first time I have applauded when the plane landed … and with good reason. The BWIA pilot did ok under the circumstances.
This is just the first part of the story of my Antigua trip so stay tuned!