Read an Excerpt
Before long, the storms were right in front of us. I scanned the radar to find the path of least resistance through the line. As we entered the weather, the turbulence started to kick up, and heavy rain began to hammer the plane. I tightened my lap belt and turned up the cockpit lights to drown out the lightning. The plane got tossed around like a rag doll as the updrafts and downdrafts took us.
"Ask for a block altitude," I told Chip. This would allow us to ride the waves through the storm easier without having to maintain a constant altitude. Chip didn't say a word. "Chip, you hear me?" I yelled. I looked over and realized he was catatonic. He sat there in his seat, staring straight ahead like he was looking into the face of a ghost.
I got the block altitude myself. It seems like no matter who I fly with I always get stuck doing all the work.
Damn worthless copilots!
The lightning flashed as bright as daylight all around us as I continued to fight the storm. The lights in the rear cargo area flickered on and off as the boxes bounced around back there hitting the light switch. I watched our airspeed as it fluctuated wildly up and down, continually making power adjustments to keep the plane within tolerances. Saint Elmo's fire crept up the windscreen, and the radios blared with static interference.
That's when I smelled the s***, literally. Chip had s*** himself.
The weather was over before long as we punched out the backside of the line but the s*** smell stayed for the rest of the night. What was worse was that, when Chip came out of his catatonic state and started speaking to air traffic control again, he started crying on the radio, sayingthings like "Tell myparents I love them," and "I'm too young to die."
"Will you calm down?" I said. "You're spilling your placenta all over the radio."
I had to pull his headset cords out of the mic jacks to save us from further embarrassment.
Excerpted from Hauling Checks by Alex Stone Copyright © 2009 by Alexander W. Stone. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpt is provided by AWS Books solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.