Later that day, our new accommodation had a printed FAQ in the room including "which of Sansa or NatureAir is the safest for flying domestically?". The answer was "Sansa have the braver pilots".
Flying back to IND from SFO mid last year we were in some really rough weather (hands down the worst turbulence I've ever experienced) for 20-25 minutes. It was bad enough reading was a futile attempt so I stowed my kindle in my bag and tried to get a nap, I'm sitting there 3/4 asleep with my chin on my chest and the lady across the aisle asks the lady next to me "oh my god, is he asleep or praying" at which point I looked up and said "I was trying to read but we're bouncing around too much so I thought I'd get a nap".
At that elevation, if the cabin was compromised we'd have all been unconscious in seconds and if we were just damaged enough to crash, I figured I'd worry about being scared as we started to fall out of the sky as worst case we'd have 1-2 minutes before we hit the ground.
The only time I get scared in a plane is take off, once the plane is doing about 3/4 of the speed it needs to, until maybe 5 seconds after the wheels leave the ground I'm absolutely terrified. I don't mind the steep climb, I don't mind the landing, but taking off scares me like nothing else climaxing when you feel the wheels leave the tarmac, my blood goes cold (and I'll even breakout in a cold sweat sometimes) every single time.
That fear has always been there too. The first time I ever flew was in a small 4-seat with my 5th grade teacher. He took all of us in his class up that Saturday that were in scouts and any of our dads that wanted to go. I was absolutely terrified once he started accelerating and losing it, within seconds of wheels off the ground I was like "Look over there! Look at that, wow look at the ground, oh man everything is getting so small, wow! Can you tilt the plane so we can see better?"
I must have been a rocket-sled dummy in a past life or something.
As you said though, the crew were completely unphased, even if there were a lot of panicked looks by a lot of passengers, and a few rather panicked shouts from others!
It was gusty. Really gusty. Belting it down with rain, cross, tail, headwinds, you name it. I’m surprised to this day that they didn’t divert, but can only guess they were on bingo fuel, as we’d been battling a headwind from London.
I’m flying unaccompanied minor, so there’s an attendant in a jump seat sat directly across from me. I’ve flown a lot by this point, and this is by far the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced, and even since - and we were on final approach.
I’m looking out of the window, keeping one eye on her, and I kid you not, she gets out her rosary beads and starts praying.
As it happened, her response was apt. As we flared, a cross-tailwind caught us hard and we slammed into the runway at an alarming angle - the wingtip grazes the turf, the plane starts to wheel, skids, they’re thrusting like crazy to get us out of a severe crab, the attendant has her eyes shut and her face locked in a mask of terror, passengers are screaming, and somehow, somehow, they get it under control, before getting onto a taxiway and calmly informing us that the flight will end here, because “that landing was a little difficult and the aircraft took some damage”.
As we deplaned, I look back - the starboard wingtip is crumpled metal, and the tires on the starboard aft gear are just gone.
Years later I trained as a pilot, and came to deeply respect the abilities of the Lufthansa flight crew to rescue that, as I later came to realise, near disaster.
Source: Have been quite close (tens of meters) to a lightning strike and there was no perceptible lag between lightning and thunder. We were close enough that handheld electronics glitched when it happened.
From wikipedia -
"Scientists estimate that a tropical cyclone releases heat energy at the rate of 50 to 200 exajoules (10^18 J) per day, equivalent to about 1 PW (10^15 watt). This rate of energy release is equivalent to 70 times the world energy consumption of humans and 200 times the worldwide electrical generating capacity, or to exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes"
Better off creating hurricane-proof windmills.
I imagine if we ever have the means to actually construct one though we'll probably also have good super conductors and crazy super capacitors and could probably just build superconductor lightning rods up and down the length of it that dump into super caps which then power the climbers and HVAC.
(If it doesn't, it's probably gated behind a certain amount of karma, like downvoting is.)
@jquery should see the 'flag' link when opening the comment directly.