19 Jul 2000 dan   » (Master)

Wed Jul 19 04:24:00 2000: OLS day 0

London Heathrow -> Boston -> Ottawa

Not only am I jetlagged, I'm turboproplagged.

If like me you've only ever been on big planes, here are some notes you may find useful about small ones.

1) they're small. On the Saab 340, for example, each row has seats denoted A, B, C - you stand almost a 70% chance of getting a window seat. Even in the worst case you at least get an aisle seat. Rows are numbered 3-14. Go figure

2) they're noisy. After some half an hour zipping around the taxiways waiting for the weather to clear, the pilot eventually got permission to leave, pointed the nose down the runway and whacked the throttles open. Or whatever it is that pilots do, anyway. Shortly after that came the usual magic-gravity-defying-hang-in-midair-moment-that-never-grows-stale which most regular flyers sleep through (I don't care. I still think it's neat), and after that the road noise did _not_ go away.

Ah. Looks like that was engine noise then, not road noise.

3) they're slow. This is actually good because you stay long enough at a low enough height to be able to see some scenery; not so usual with an airbus 300

4) they've no seat back tv. yay! where _do_ AA get the programming for seatback viewing? it's so bland and inoffensive as to be completely unpalatable - actually, now I think of it, so is the food.

We were late out of Boston due to the weather, which was inclement and highly charged. Small planes have this feature in common with big planes: their pilots are no more willing or able to take off during electrical storms with quantities of falling water which lead purple writers to start talking about dancing raindrops. They weren't dancing. Just coming out of the sky, hitting the ground and bouncing up again.

Can an aeroplane aquaplane? What happens?

After we did get off the ground we found that we were in the middle of a glorious sunny summer evening, for most of the flight. Until the plane began final approach and we found out that everyone actually living here is _below_ the cloud layer. Seems odd when it's so much nicer above, but they probably have reasons. I'm only visiting, what do I know?

Nobody in airport security, customs or immigration at any of the airports I've been though bothered asking to see my laptop. Given that I flattened its battery before landing at Boston, this may not be such a bad thing. Canadian immigration officers are however extremely friendly and will talk to you for ages, given half a chance. At 1:02 Dan Standard Time I had a difficult time excplaining what I was doing in Ottawa without using any form of words that could be equated to "I'm going to meet a bunch of people that I know from the Internet." Hmm.

Arrived. Found hotel, etc. Slept.

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