On the two misguided occasions when we chose to fly across the country
with our less-than-five-year-old child (more on the 5 year part in a
second), we bought an extra ticket and used a car seat. The 'cabin
attendants' where very impressed. I thought it was common sense.
I've come to find out that people think carrying their children on
their lap and risking their lives is "saving money". I actually
heard a woman tonight talk about going on "one last free vacation" with
her child on her lap before the child was "too old". I had to bite
I'm a licensed pilot (general aviation) and commercial jets scare the
$%#%$ out of me. You can not afford not to buy an extra seat
for your child. If the plane hits "rough air" (what us pilots like to
call "light chop") you will not be able to keep your arms around that
35 pound mass. I can show you the law of physics which make this so.
No amount of caring or loving will change these equations. Buy the
extra seat. Use a car seat. Or better yet, stay home until your
youngest child has reached the age of five. That's my plan.
I was in a commercial plane the other day and had an unusual
experience during the takeoff. The pilot pulled the nose up, realized
he did not have enough air speed, put the nose back down, waited about
10 seconds and then "rotated" again. I thought I was going to wet my
pants. No one else around me seemed the least be worried. Sometimes
it's better to be ignorant. This episode would not have been that
noteworthy expect that the plane was 3 hours late taking off because
the crew had not had the required time off between flights. So this crew
might have been, shall we say, fatigued. Guess what the #1 cause of
airplane accidents is - fatigue combined with schedule pressure.