Flying by the Seat of my Pants

airliner landing

Last Updated on September 17, 2023 by ADMIN-TOM

When Orville and Wilbur Wright built and flew The Wright Flyer in 1903, it was the world’s first successful flight of a powered heavier-than-air flying machine. It wasn’t pure luck that enabled Orville to make the first powered aeroplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. The flight lasted 12-seconds and managed to fly a distance of 36m, approximately 120ft. This achievement was the product of a four-year program of research and development conducted by Wilbur and Orville Wright starting in 1899.

I’m no historian nor am I a betting man. But I would like to bet that both Orville and Wilbur used some form of cushioning on the pilot’s seat. Bumping along a beach in a home-built aeroplane could not have been much fun on the men’s posterior.

These days we take travel by aeroplane for granted. I’ve just spent a total of eleven hours sat in an aeroplane travelling first to Jordan and back from my home in Cyprus. Followed by a flight to the UK and back. Easy-Peasy? No, not really. Apart from the fact the tickets and gate passes were slightly screwed up by the online agent, there was a major problem with the seating on the aircraft. The seats were hard!

I haven’t flown anywhere in about four years. My last flight was on a Qatar Airlines plane to Australia. That was a long journey from Cyprus to Qatar, then onwards to Perth in Western Australia. The seating was basic but adequate.

This time I used RyanAir. Cheap and cheerful… well, cheap, but the seating was basically pressed into seat shape plastic with the absolute minimum of padding. As I said in the second paragraph, I would bet the Wright brothers took care of their posteriors. RyanAir,  on the other hand, 120 years after the first powered flight, seem not to have taken much notice of their passenger’s comfort.

These flights I’ve just taken were a test to see how I would cope while still in recovery mode from Cancer. I did well, with the exception of my bottom. I lost a lot of weight while on chemotherapy and my bottom is more bony that padded. To say I have sore derriere would be an understatement. However, I’m a survivor. If I can beat cancer I can endure the pain of RyanAir’s terrible seats.

Now, as it’s lunchtime and I’m having a beer to kill the pain. Bottoms-up!

Copyright © Tom Kane 2023


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