First Flight

I later dismissed the flight out as an allergy issue.

Later, the Army was kind enough to award me a week’s leave after I finished basic training. I was responsible for finding a flight home, and reporting to Ft. Rucker by the deadline. My wife at the time booked a flight from Jacksonville, SC, and a return flight to Dothan, AL.

The flight from Minneapolis to Dothan was not a nonstop. We flew a normal jet airliner to Atlanta.

Was it Johnny Carson who said, you would need a connecting flight in Atlanta on your way to hell?

From there it was a thirty-six passenger twin turbo prop to Dothan.

I hated that flight!!

It may have been a bad flying day for that airplane. Or it may have just been the characteristics of that particular airplane. I don’t remember the model. But it vibrated so bad, I was nearly nauseous by the time we landed in Dothan. It was almost impossible to communicate. All I felt and heard was this constant buzzing, as though a million bumble bees filled the cabin.

Even the pilot sounded as though he was uncomfortable in that plane. Hell, maybe he was. I know what the pilots of those types of aircraft make.

By the time we landed in Dothan, (pronounced doh-thun) I was ready to give up my flying career.

By the way, we always knew who the new guys were, including me, because they pronounce Dothan the way you have been reading it until I helped you out…just saying.

I knew I wanted to fly helicopters, I really knew. My hope was to fly the biggest, meanest, bad ass helicopter the Army had, the Cobra. But I was still at least eight weeks of bullshit from finding out if I would like flying. We’re not talking about basic training, run a couple of miles every morning bull shit. We are talking, “Officer and a Gentleman” bullshit before the Army would let me turn a rotor.

But I am going to skip those eight weeks, and tell you about the first time I did get to turn a rotor.

With my next post.

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