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Your Scariest Flight?  
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 9
Posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4142 times:

Recently, I had a flight through a thunderstorm on Southwest. The aircraft went through severe turbulence and there were several times when the aircraft unexpectedly seemed to lose 10 feet of altitude in what felt like a bump, though probably more than 10 feet. It felt like a roller coaster ride, and my stomach felt queasy, especially because it happened several times unexpectedly. When it did, it surprised and scared many on the plane, though nothing was really wrong with the aircraft. These unexpected bumps were over after about 5 minutes or so. So, that was my scariest flight. What was your scariest flight (if any)?

Fly one thing; Fly it well
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBMAbound From Sweden, joined Nov 2003, 660 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3962 times:

Took off in a 182 from Dillon County Airport in Montana, bound for the state capital, Helena. The weather was neither good or bad in the beginning, however, it got worse fast! About halfway, we hit a wall of fog, had to turn back, do some scud-running over the highway between 500 and 1000 feet with iced up wings. Had my very experienced flight instructor with me, so I wasn't worried, but it was a little uncomfortable. Back in Dillon, we couldn't do a traffic pattern, so we ended up doing a 15 kt tailwind landing, straight-in. No big deal really, since the runway is something like 6000 feet.

Sometimes, weather reports just suck!


Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
User currently offlineEALSYS1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 229 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

MCO - MIA in a Saab 340 in the Summer of 97. We took off to the North and kept going North for a while. When we finally turned, West then South we ended up further South than I had ever flown on that route. We ended up in the Florida Keys! We finally took a turn North to approach MIA but we came in VERY high. We remained at that altitude to the point that I thought we were going to overfly the airport. Then suddenly the pilot dive bombed runway 30. We were flying high to avoid wind shear I guess because after we landed they shut down MIA for 90 minutes. There was even a tornado at MIA.

Had I known what was going on, it would have been really frightening!


User currently offlineGraham697 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 354 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3754 times:

An HP flight from TPA to PHX, as we were crossing Texas, we experienced severe turbulence for about 20 minutes. The turbulence was worse than I remember and I fly cross coast a lot. Maybe it was just the airbus  Big grin

Looking forward to the new AA
User currently offlinePaddy From Taiwan, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3733 times:

About 3 or 4 years ago I flew PDX-MSP on NW in the middle of February. The flight started out normally enough but by the time we were past the Rockies, it was nothing but bad weather. At one point the pilots were apparently trying to navigate around the biggest storm cloud that I have ever seen. They kept dropping the throttle down so low that I thought the plane had lost power. Then, a few seconds later they gunned it back up and started making sweeping turns. It was kind of unnerving when they throttled the A320 down like that because it made the plane shake. People seemed to be wondering what was going on. I don't know exactly what they were doing but at least we seemed to avoid the storm and any significant turbulence. This continued off and on all the way to MSP, where we had to circle continuously so they could clear the snow off the runway. I was quite late in getting to BOS that night!

Come to think of it I've never had a flight to BOS without some sort of weirdness at some point of the journey: be it midwestern weather, BOS fog(we circled for at least 20minutes one time), or a horribly decrepit DL 727(but that's a different story!)

User currently offlineCarlos1979 From Canada, joined Dec 2003, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3715 times:

The scariest flight I ever experienced was on an Indian Airline A320 from New Delhi to Leh (right in the middle of the Himalayas). This flight cannot be flown IFR, its needs to be entirely VFR. Let me explain. LEH is nestled in a valley at about 13,000 ft. The approach is flown down a valley lined by peaks that reach over 18000. Flight approach Leh fly past the airport and into the next valley to perform a spiral descent. Aircraft then flying back in the Leh's valley, peform a tight left turn and straighten out just before flaring (a la Kai Tak). We were sitting in the first row of business class, right by the exit door. The cockpit door was about 10 feet away. Throughout the entire approach you could hear the GPWS blaring (whoop whoop, whoop whoop). My father asked me numerous times what that sound was. I told him "I'll tell when we're on the ground!". Needless to say he wasn't to happy to hear what it was when we arrived. Scary but a real adventure nonetheless.


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 67
Reply 6, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3699 times:

My scariest was an Air Botswana flight from Maun (MUB) to Kasane (BBK) on an ATR42 - the plane was in perfect condition, but after taking of from MUB we got into quite a bit of turbulence - which lasted for about 10-15 minutes... I'm used to turbulence, but that really was a bit more than I had expected.

The "second place" is reserved for the Air Namibia (operated by "Executive Turbine") Beech 1900 I flew on from Windhoek International (WDH) to Victoria Falls (VFA) - the last (again) 10-15 minutes we were flying around (and sometimes through) thunderstorm clouds... from where I sat, I could see the weather radar, and sometimes we came damn close to those red cells visible on that thing...

Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineBongo From Colombia, joined Oct 2003, 1863 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3684 times:

Any flight in a Let L-410 is a scary flight...even knowing it's a safe plane (I guess)
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MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
User currently offlineDLMHT From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3682 times:

NWA B757 from PDX-DTW several years ago....

We were on approach into DTW, a very short final, when all of a sudden I heard the engines power up and the nose lifted as we did a go-around.

As we climbed out, the captain came on the PA and said that the flaps didn't seem to want to go down, and that we were going to circle around for awhile north of DTW while they figured out a solution. After about 20 minutes (and a few worried looks from the passengers around me), he said that we were going to come back and give it another whirl.

He did tell us that the airport CFR rigs would be lining the runway waiting for us as an added precaution, but not to worry. We'd just be coming in a bit hot 'n heavy, and we'd have to use more of the runway than usual.

Landing was no real incident, although it was a little unnerving to see all the CFR vehicles on rollout. I know this is something that happens on a fairly often occasion, but its the best story I got !


User currently offlineCOEWRNJ From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1079 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3499 times:

My scariest flight was a CO flight from PBI-EWR on a 757. It was in Feb 01' and I was coming home while a snowstorm was taking place in the NE. The flight was scheduled to depart around 2:45PM so we boarded around 1PM. Once on board we taxied to the runway and then turned back because the pilot said ATC in EWR was putting us on hold until 3:30. Once we took of we got up to around Norfolk and started circling. While we were circling the weather got real bad and it was terribly turbulent. After about two and a half hours of circling the pilot said we needed to divert to BOS for more fuel. The whole flight up to BOS was probably the most horrifying part of the flight. The plane just kept jolting all over the place and the pilot told the F/A's to be seated and for all the passengers to put their tray tables up and put all service items on the floor. Once we got into BOS airspace we were put on another hold pattern for about 30min. Then we landed in BOS and waited on the ground for about 2hrs until we got to a gate. After about an hr they had us reboard and head back to EWR after they de-iced us. The BOS-EWR flight was no better. My two and a half hour flight finally got into EWR about 11 hours later. That was the trip from hell..

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3476 times:

A training flight where my instructor decided to demonstrate a spin...without telling me first...


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineFtrguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3383 times:

Ever done an inverted spin??? Let me tell you, what a ride!!!!!!!!!!!

User currently offlineAvion346 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3248 times:


Once arriving in VA, we attempted a landing at RIC, but a thunderstorm forced us to try ORF. Once there, we were forced to make a go-around, and then returned to RIC. En route, the DC-9 suddenly dropped at least 100 feet. My father, who was next to me fishing around in his briefcase, had all his pens, papers, etc. fly up in the air and scatter, hitting him in the face. There were definitely some screams, and my arms instinctively flew up in the air. Terrifying, but we landed in RIC on our third overall landing attempt of the flight. Winds were simply horrible, obviously.

User currently offlineKAL744 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3171 times:

My was in 1991 on a B 737 of Lufthansa. The flight was from DUS to HAM and we had very strong turbulences cuz of a very heavy thunderstorm. Pilot needed to go around for 3 times before finally could touch down safely in HAM.

User currently offlineTommy767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3075 times:


This was the absolute worst! Our flight was delayed 3 hrs. due to weather in both Burlington and Newark. It was the end of our thanksgiving vacation, and my sister (4yrs old) and myself (6yrs old) were exhausted. Finally, sometime around 8, we boarded the ghetto-hopper of the ATR-42. On take-off I was fine, but shortly into the flight, I felt queasy. This was most likely due to all the sudden turbulence. I, however NEVER puked on that plane, and shortly after (30 mins) I went to sleep. Apparently the trip got worse after that. My Grandy spilled her ginger-ale because of all the turbulence, and my parents were getting scared. Then after a while, we made our landing at EWR, and went in as my dad said "at a 90 degree angle." People were scared, and my dad said he was stomping on the floor to make the ATR straighten out (I'm not sure why.) Then we touched ground normally. To think I was asleep for the horrific landing! My parents say I must have been in a deep sleep, because that was a WILD ride.

User currently offlineQexonial From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2948 times:

Good day,

Well, I posted this topic probably months ago. But what the heck. I will write again for those who hasn't read it.

It was a China flight, from Beijing to Nanjing. It wasn't at the international airport, more like an army airport. Anyway, the thing that scared me the most is the lack or non-existence of announcement of seat belt fastening during landing. It was actually 10 years ago on an airline that I have never heard of. But anyway, I was sleeping as I had to go to the airport by 6.00am. Anyway, I slept throughout the whole flight and I was suddenly awoken by the sound of the plane landing. That was the scariest!


Kind regards,

User currently offlineAApilot2b From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 586 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2930 times:

I don't really have a scary flight experience to say. Although, I did get a scare on takeoff once. It was a flight lesson and I had already begun takeoff in a Cessna 152 when I heard several loud bangs well in to the takeoff roll. As it turned out, a portion of my seat belt strap was caught in the door and hanging outside in the slip stream. As I accelerated, it began slapping against the side of the fuselage. We sorted it out and carried on with the lesson, but that initial banging gave me quite a start.

User currently offlinePr1268 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

I can imagine the 707 flight John Lithgow took in the movie The Twilight Zone (a role first introduced in the TV show by none other than William Shatner some 23 years earlier) would be probably the scariest flight. Not simply because of the thunderstorm taking out engine #1, but because some psycho dude is shooting out the window at a illusionary creature on the wing.

[Edited 2003-12-13 18:51:09]

The only time an aircraft has too much fuel is when it is on fire.
User currently offlineMontanaFL From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2858 times:

Was flying out of MDW in 1987 on an old ML DC-9. We sat on the taxi way briefly as the rain cam down heavier as each minute passed. The Capt came across the PA and said that ORD had just been closed but still hoping to us to get airborne. Finally we taxied onto the runway and took off. That old DC-9 bounced all over the place and this is the only flight I can remember where I was white knuckled and praying. After 5-10 mins, we finally punched out of the clouds and all I saw was a wall of clouds from the ground and up as high as I could see behind us. It was a beautiful sight, but don't know if I would ever want to do that again.

I miss those DL L-1011's
User currently offlineDC-10 Levo From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 3432 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2742 times:

Never had a really scary flight, but I had a scare on a MYT flight from MAN-SFB in 2002. We were on a A330, and just taken off from MAN in low cloud. The captain came on and said that after departure we would be making a hard left turn. I remember looking out of the window, watching us takeoff and then the wing just disappeared. My stomach just left me and I felt terrible! I really thought the wing had broken off!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy. But after a couple of second when we had cleared the clouds it came back in view.


User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2637 times:

That illusionary creature was real - in the Twilight Zone series. As Shatner is being taken away on a stretcher, the camera pans to the damage on the wing created by that little gremlin that was ripping the panels out. He was shooting at the real thing but only he could see it. That was the Twilight Zone aspect to it. Only he had the ability to see what was there. He was no psycho, he saved the plane.

An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
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