The recent United flight from Denver per CNN: The pilots issued a mayday call and, after turning back to the airport, landed the Boeing 777-200 plane safely. Remarkably, there were no reports of injuries either in the air or on the ground. Still, interviews with passengers show the incident provided a huge scare for everyone involved.
This has never happened to me, fortunately. But I have experienced several “close” calls. But never have any of mine involved the engine.
My first bad experience was on a flight with my kids to Spring Training in Arizona. We were on a Southworst flight from Oakland, and somewhere over the mountains, a Midwest style heat lightning storm came out of nowhere. We got hit, and it sounded and felt like the entire plane would fall apart. Even the flight attendants were shocked.
My kids took it in stride, as we were forced to divert and land in San Diego. We stayed on the plane as they inspected it, and after an hour delay, were sent on to Phoenix. I must tell you that I did not feel very comfortable on that last leg of our flight! But we arrived in Phoenix safely, with our golf clubs, and expectations of a great spring training.
The worst experience with a flight, again weather related, involved trying to land in Denver during an ice storm, at old Stapleton Airport. As the plane tried to land, we were thrown and tilted almost 90 degrees to the ground. I looked out the window and saw the ice and snow on the runway. I thought our wing would scrape the ground.
The pilot aborted, and was told to try again. Better judgement prevailed, and we were diverted to Colorado Springs. We were then bussed, after great delay, back to Stapleton, thankful to be alive. I would say that was the closest I have come to a near death experience.
My third experience occurred on a flight from Bangkok to Taiwan. Due to heavy fog in Taipei, we were diverted to Hong Kong. To this day, I don’t see how the fog was any less in Hong Kong than Taipei. We landed as hard as I have ever landed, in a big 747. We were forced to stay on the tarmac while they inspected the plane!!
Several hours went by before they decided what to do with us, either fly on to Taipei, or stay the night in HK. But before they decided, the pilot came on the intercom, asking if we had a doctor on board. Sheri volunteered me. The head flight attendant asked me if I would attend to a passenger who was dying back in coach.
Long story short, he was a 90 year old man, who passed out from too much booze. Even though I could not get a pulse, we lowered the oxygen mask and brought him miraculously back to life. A former army medic and I save his life!!! We were the great American heroes, with an ovation as we walked back up to First Class!
The story concludes in a rather interested way. We had to deplane, and stay the night in a flea bag HK business hotel. But we got to the airport very early the next day, and traded our China Airlines tickets for First Class on Singapore Airlines!!!! It was a great flight home, even though it was almost 36 hours later.
So, will this keep me from heading to another trip? NO!