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Old 06-01-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,588,145 times
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After hearing about Flight 447 I thought I'd start a thread to share experiences... what has been your worst scare during flight? My worst so far has been a missed approach at Mumbai airport.

After the wheels touched down on the runway I heard the engines rev full blast and we took off into the Arabian sea with the coast of Mumbai disappearing and silence for the next 15 minutes as we were ascending, many started panicking wondering what is happening, perhaps a hijack? or some inability to land? after what sounded like forever the pilot said that he had to abort the landing. Later I found out that had we landed the plane would've overshot the runway and crashed into the surrounding area!
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:46 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,244 posts, read 14,130,781 times
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Coming into land on the tail of a hurricane with the airliner jumping up and down by many many feet as we made the approach.

I just buried my head in a book and tried not to think about things.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:17 AM
 
Location: Camberville
12,004 posts, read 16,753,802 times
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Aborted landing coming into Atlanta. It wasn't nearly as dramatic as k374's experience, but the flight had already been delayed out of Miami for a good 12 hours (including one hour sitting on the tarmac). We were landing at 2AM and I could see the beginnings of the airport if I looked forward. We tilted straight back up and did some crazy turns. People were screaming. I have a phobia of flying and it was my first time flying alone (I was 15 or 16) and truly think if I was only 15 or 20 years older, I would have died of a heart attack.

Apparently coming down out of the heavy cloud cover, the pilot noticed another plane on the runway. Whoops... When he came on the intercom 5 minutes later, he was pretty good about trying to calm down nerves.

When we finally did land, we were stuck on the plane for another hour (up to 3AM at this point) because there wasn't a gate for us. Even though it was the middle of the night, it was still Atlanta in July with no air on in the plane. It truly was the flight from hell.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
191 posts, read 521,172 times
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Flying out of Love Field into Hobby in October 2001 (my first flight after 911, so I was already REALLY jumpy!).

It had been nasty weather in Dallas. They had lined us up a couple times to board, then made us disperse again because another load of T'storms would roll in. FINALLY we got to board and headed out. The entire flight was awful. Turbulent...bouncing all over the place. Thank goodness it was a short flight!

When we got to Houston, we circled, we circled, we circled. We were like, wth? You could see the clouds roiling around us. We FINALLY got clearance to land and started landing procedures. When we were JUST about ready to touch down, suddenly the pilot took us back up into the air. And when I say UP, I mean VERTICAL. I was freaking out. "Wind shear," I kept telling myself, remembering Delta 191.

Sure enough...the captain came over the intercom not long after and apologized for that. There had been wind shear on the runway. We diverted to Austin because we were getting low on fuel. And although a stewardess tried to stop me from debarking, I got off in Austin to stay with family and never made it to my conference. After that, it didn't seem that important!
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:39 AM
 
3,553 posts, read 6,937,984 times
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Lost an engine leaving Houston Intercontinental for Oakland in December 2000, a couple of minutes off the runway. This was the second compressor stall I had experienced so I knew what the sound meant as soon as I heard it. As we were circling the pilot came on to calm everyone and said; "...even though we lost power in one engine we could have made it to Oakland on the other two engines". Except we were on a 737, only one other engine!

I also was on a C-110 that lost most of its power a few minutes after takeoff, the pilot managed to get us down "safely".

golfgod
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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Oooops, that should be C-119 in the last para, above.

golfgod
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,321,246 times
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Hope there aren't any phobic reading this thread! Years ago, I was riding in a small Red Cross plane over the Alps. Looking out the window noticed what appeared to be black oil flooding out over the wing. Notified the (Italian) pilot who looked, shrugged, said something in Italian and didn't seem at all concerned. No problems with the flight but I was a bit uneasy.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Camberville
12,004 posts, read 16,753,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cha Ching View Post
When we got to Houston, we circled, we circled, we circled. We were like, wth? You could see the clouds roiling around us. We FINALLY got clearance to land and started landing procedures. When we were JUST about ready to touch down, suddenly the pilot took us back up into the air. And when I say UP, I mean VERTICAL. I was freaking out. "Wind shear," I kept telling myself, remembering Delta 191.
Part of the reason I think I have a huge phobia of flying is that my best friend growing up's mom was the widow of the pilot of Delta 191. She went on to marry another pilot (and continued being a flight attendant!!) but that has always stuck out in my mind. Despite flying probably over 100 times in my 21 years, I still have serious panic attacks for days prior to flying.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:42 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,370 posts, read 21,213,499 times
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Back in the mid-70's I was on a flight from Lima, Peru to Rio de Janeiro with a stop over in Sao Paulo.

When we were over the city of Sao Paulo, the pilot announced we were going to land. Almost veritcally down we went, with a chorus group of no-fear-of-dying, laughing Brasilians at the end of the plane, cheering the pilot on to go faster, faster on our vertical descent. My friend, who had flown planes in WWII, was even alarmed, saying: You don't treat a 727 like a toy plane!

Obviously, this pilot had done this before, just for fun, but there were moments I was scared ----less!

We finally landed, then all the lights went out in this Space-Age terminal and out came the candles.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:32 AM
 
12,253 posts, read 18,390,529 times
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Having flown over a million miles (almost a million miler on Delta) I've encountered most of what people are describing above numerous times (flying into hurricane areas, aborted landings, aborted take-offs, etc).

My father was a commercial airlines pilot and was also a charter pilot. When I was a kid I used to fly with him on occasion. During one occasion he was testing a new plane that his employee was considering to purchase, and asked me to come along. He said "we are going to test stall the plane so hold on" before we took off. Not knowing what "test stall" was, I didn't think much of it.

So we are flying, and then in a moment off gut wrenching zero gravity trauma we are heading what seemed straight up then straight down. I could literally look forward through the cockpit area, to the windshield, and see the ground in front of me. This lasted for a few terrorizing seconds before we leveled off. Then I saw my father turn around from the pilots seat with a big grin on his face. For a few seconds I surely thought we were going down to certain death, but it was all part of the "test stall".

One thing I've learned from commerical flying however - these commercial jets operate way way below the tolerance they can take in order for the airlines to provide a comfortable flying experience. Anyone that has been in the airforce, or fly's a transport (fedex, etc) plane knows exactly how a pilot will fly and what abuse these planes can take without the limitations of customer comfort to worry about. I'm sure some ex-military people that fly regular military transport will come in with horror stories that will put the above stories to pale.
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