I hate turbulence.

I know—as a road warrior, I’m supposed to be able to ignore the bumps, continue to work, and enjoy my drink, all the while maintaining a look of calm indifference to the turbulence rattling the plane around me. Test pilots call it “maintaining an even strain,” even during the worst emergencies. As a kid in Texas, I called it “going with the flow.”

But, still, I hate turbulence.

I’ve read the reports. I know that airframes almost never fail, that the wings of a 747 can flex thirty-six feet before they break, that the most dangerous parts of a flight are takeoff and landing, not midair turbulence. I know these things, but this knowledge doesn’t comfort me. I still feel queasy—not airsick, but uneasy—when ...

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