Here is a story about our plane trips, however I must warn that if flying is questionable to anyone, I’d stop reading right about now.
Anyway, typically when we would fly to games at Ole Miss we would take plane trips the day of the game. So on this one particular trip, there was a little bit too much going on that no one will ever forget. I’ll start the story off by telling that on our way to the airport, Mario Moore decides to drink a full bottle of grape juice because this will come into play later. As we are pulling up to the airplane from our bus we see this nice big plane that we normally take so obviously no one is having any issues. Well at the last moment our bus decides to take a sharp right and we drive up to two small propeller planes that can probably hold around 15 people each, including pilots. Well this is already a joke because we are having issues with deciding how we are going to split the planes up and who will fly where. So as a good decision we decide to put all the players and Coach Stalls on one plane, and all the other coaches, managers, and other team personnel that flies on the other. I decide to grab the front seat behind the pilots (I am secretly fascinated with airplanes) where my knees are actually in the cockpit and Mario sits behind me.
As we are all boarded up and ready to go, Coach begins to tell us stories of flying when he was a player to ease some of the minds on the plane. Not to name names, but we had a couple players visibly shaken all the way down to a player we put his hood over his head completely so he could see nothing going on. To speed the story up, we basically have two small planes following each other on this short hour ride to Mississippi.
During the trip, as anyone who has been on small planes knows, wind is not your friend which means we were all over the place and the weather is not great so it doesn’t help to not be able to see anything. As we approach the airport to land, I decide, “Hey I am going to watch them land the plane”. So as we’re approaching, my head in the cockpit, I hear one of the pilots ask the other, “Do you see it?” The other pilot replies, “Not at all” which is also met with him leaning over the dashboard with two hands looking as hard as possible. (Picture yourself being to short to look over a wall and barely being able to pull yourself up and peep over). This means nothing to me other than I can’t see what is in front of us anyway. So as we are preparing to land going lower and lower, I look out the window and notice that about 100ft. below the flying plane, there are other planes (PLURAL) parked. Next thing I know I am hearing the pilots scream “Pull Up, Pull Up”. The planes then starts to take a sharp incline and this is when it happens. Mario sitting behind me literally stands up out of his seat, grabs a doggy bag, and completely fills it up with grape juice. It would have been OK, but he decided to do it on top of my head which obviously made me start screaming “unconsciously” at him to sit down.
Then as the plane is headed back up, the plane then begins to sound like a frat house with all kinds of noise and loud talking, however you don’t understand one word that is being said. The plane makes it all the way back up safely and then it becomes a common matter of the common phrase, “Get me off this D— plane”. As we begin to circle back around apparently FAA regulations state that the other plane can’t land until we do I guess for the fact we are first in line. So the next time around, its the same exact scenario. We are flying in for the landing and the pilots now are whispering to each other trying to find out where the runway is again. This time as we are preparing to land, the pilot again says, “Do you see it?” This time the other pilot pauses for about five seconds then says, “OVER THERE” while pointing almost perpendicular to the airplane himself. So they decide its going to happen and we take a sharp decline and almost turn completely sideways to get to this runway and once we finally touchdown the drama is not over yet. We have to stop! We are going down the runway and I can only remember the plane hydroplaning as we are trying to come to a stop. We stop safely and get to the area where are plane has to wait for the other plane to land.
At this point there is no keeping us on the plane so everyone decides to jump out of the plane and run around frantically trying to collect themselves. Then we watch as its so foggy we can only hear the other plane. Then out of nowhere this plane comes flying through seemingly at full speed, but does in fact land. Needless to say, we can laugh about it now, but that day, we vowed (even though we have no choice of what planes we can take) to never fly on that type of plane again. Oh by the way, Matt Freije did break the scoring record that day! HAAHAHA