As I stepped off my final flight of the year, I have no problem admitting I was a little emotional. Not because the year's travel was coming to an end but because I was reminded that just a few years ago I was so scared of flying that the very idea of getting on a plane was enough to make me feel nauseous. Overcoming my fear of flying remains one of my biggest personal achievements. I'm proud of myself, quite frankly.
At this point, the pilot gets the plane in the "dirtiest" configuration possible, i.e. the airplane is fully configured for landing at the slowest possible speed; flaps fully extended, speed brakes deployed, gear down. By now, the plane is on dat glideslope and dropping agressively. The speed brakes disrupt the lift over the wing creating turbulent air and the aircraft begins to shake, as though it's really struggling to stay in the air.