Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)
TITLE: Good News - Bad News
By Paul Mobley
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The sudden jolt snapped me from my reverie. I had got the engineering problem fixed, and was
thinking about the trip report, and the projects in my own laboratory needing my attention. The
smooth flight from out of Detroit had lulled me into a half asleep comfort.
We had run into a severe summer thunderstorm. And the twin engine propjet was no match for
the storm. We were being tossed about like a piece of paper in a dust devil. Looking about at the
buzz of the passengers, it was clear they knew. Some were rigidly holding their seat arms, white
knuckles showing their fear.
Looking out I could barely see the wings. Yet I made out the flaps being down, and the wheels
down. The crew was doing their best to retain control of the plane, and get us through the storm.
The lady next to me was so wrapped in fear that she could not speak. Her face grimaced, and her
eyes rolled wide eyed at me. When I spoke to her she barely nodded. "Ma'am the crew is
maintaining some control of the plane. They will get us through." And silently we both prayed and
The plane was thrown sideways, first one way and then the other. And then we would go up and
then down. Regaining some stability in my mind, I abruptly realized that we were not going
further and further down, that we were holding altitude pretty well. And I had not heard any sort
of cracking noise, as if a wing, a flap, or a wheel was tearing apart.
The tossing about lasted for about another ten minutes, and as suddenly as we had entered the
storm, we now were in calm weather. Everyone was quiet for a time, thanking God.
The lady next to me was able to smile, "Thank you for your words."
"Your first time flying ?"
"Well, you are an experienced flyer now !" And she laughed.
Our flight was smooth from then on, and we landed safely at Cincinnati. Everyone deplaned and
went into the terminal. But there I noticed a somberness among employees, so I asked the nearest
one "What is going on ?"
"A jet went down in northern Ohio and killed everyone aboard."
Then I knew how fortunate we were, for that plane had gone through the same storm. And I
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