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Dramatic Flight:Go Around Sent Us To "Ground Zero"  
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4694 times:
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We were flying on an American Airlines MD-80, Flt 1886 this Sunday from MIA to LGA. Somehow, fate was good to us as we sat portside and the views that would later come were fantastic...

We were a 1/2 hour late out of MIA b/c 2 "start cards" for the right engine did not work until a 3rd was used. Pax were complaining of the heat on the a/c until we took flight.

On descent, our approach took us across the southeast tip of Manhattan and gave us awesome views of the Eastside of Manhattan, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and the UN.

We came onto Runway 4 and just as I thought we would touchdown, our pilot pulled up again and the engines spooled up. (I estimate we were no more than 35 feet from the ground as I was eye level with the Marine Air Terminal bldg.) I was guessing (and hoping) that we were doing a go around procedure.

I was loving it! Just a few months ago, we were discussing this procedure on a thread in tech/ops! So it was great to experience it!

As I explained it to my fiance, we heard lots of dumb comments from the other pax who were scared or "knew better."-> (ie. some dope actually said "why doesn't the friggin pilot just land the plane, even after our pilot announced that he was going around to avoid an a/c that didn't clear the runway")

After pulling up, we made a sweeping left turn then turned sharp at the George Washington Bridge. BEAUTIFUL when lit up at night. The a/c now continued along the WEST coast of Manhattan !!

So we got awesome views of the West coast of Manhattan.

As we neared the southern end, we saw Ground Zero brightly lit up. We were 3000ft up but we paid our respects. Perhaps it was my own perception but the chatter on our side of the plane seemed to quiet down at that point and was then illuminated by camera flashes.

We are New Yorkers but this was our first visit to G.Z.

We turned around at the south tip of Manhattan once again and approached runway 4 and landed safely. As we left the plane, our pilot was apologizing!! Can you believe that nonsense? Pax were bitching at him b/c we landed 15 min later than usual! I thanked him for doing what a good pilot would. (BTW, I've already sent a letter of Appreciation to AA for him)

I consider myself lucky b/c 1.) our pilot saw to our safely, 2.) the go around allowed us to see Ground Zero.

(Also, Now we'll never need to take one of those "fly around Manhattan" helicopter trips! LOL  Big thumbs up)



Have any of you ever had such meaningful unexpected moments occur on your flights? Perhaps a flight over something meaningful to you? An engagement on a plane? Any sort of surreal, unique or surprising moment that made your flight ever so special??

I hope you will share them here.


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17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4880 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4606 times:

Taking off from HNL in the mid 70's we went past the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Having toured it the day before, it was quite stirring seeing the "shadows" in the water around it. May have been an optical illusion, but I remember being moved by it. I was 11 years old at the time and felt "grown up" realizing what I was looking at was affecting me in such a way.


Next Up: STL-TPA-BWI-PWM-BWI-STL
User currently offlineTWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4577 times:

I remember the first time I flew over Manhattan after 9/11 (about 3 weeks after the attack) on approach to LGA and saw the skyline for the first time without the WTC. Smoke was still coming from the site. Very sad.


An unexamined life isn't worth living.
User currently offlineKaiTakFan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1588 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4539 times:

Flying out of Chek Lap Kok and over Kai Tak airport is a rather unique moment in the air for me every time I leave Hong Kong. Sure does make me miss Kai Tak! I had alot of great memories there!

Mirrodie when you said it was your first visit to the World Trade Center Site do you mean as a view from the air or first time ever seeing the site?

Cheers!
Brian


User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1435 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4517 times:

This is very personal to me. Sorry for the long post, but I need to give some background.

Singapore has a bunch of islands off its southern coast. When I was in University I used to kayak out to the islands twice a year. The government has been developing the islands - some are used for heavy industries (oil refineries mostly), and some are being used as bombing ranges. Some are also being developed into "recreational areas". There were a few remaining islands - two adjacent ones in particular - that had been untouched up till the mid-90s. One had Singapore's last remaining authentic Malay village - it was called Pulau Sakeng. The villagers kept goats and all kinds of animals, and they also had a sacred tree. The other island - P. Semakau - once had a Malay village on it, but the villagers were "resettled" to the main island in the 80s. One couple refused to move, however, and they lived in a tiny wooden shack - with no amenities - and they fished in their boat. I visited them a few times, and I gave them canned food. P. Semakau also had a flock of purple herons. There was also a coral reef - not a healthy one, though - between the two islands.

Anyway, the Singapore government decided to fill in the sea between these two islands to create a landfill. Once the landfill was completed, they would develop heavy industries on it. A few groups protested this plan, but the opposition wasn't strong enough (as is typical in Singapore). So, the remaining villagers were resettled, and work began.

In 1997, I was on an SQ flight from Europe to SIN, and I was on a window seat. As we made the swoop round the southern coastline on our approach to RW 02R(?), I saw the work that was being done to create the landfill, and I helpless rage went through me. It was a depressing sight.



User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4448 times:
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Marrrty, yeah! Moby and Heat- Awesome together! Great flick!

KaiTakFan, we had dinner near WTC about 2 weeks prior to the attacks. But this was the first time we went back there, seeing it as Ground Zero. We never really came to terms GZ until that moment.

But I've seen the Towers from the air before.

Ex SQer, sorry to hear it. Amazing how the needs of the many outweigh the vital needs of the few.




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User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4403 times:
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BTW, I will post ups pics as soon as I can get them. mirrodie


Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineAWspicious From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4373 times:

Mirrodie;
Must have been a very powerful and emotional experience... Much like that song in your post.
By the way, is it at all possible for you to up-load the file of that 747 landing which I saw in your profile?
Thanks.

aw


User currently offlineFlyguydsl From Canada, joined Mar 2002, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4320 times:

I am sorry, I am not offended in the least. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
DSL


User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4270 times:

I haven't had any dramatic flying moments going back to NYC after 9.11 but you're right, landing on Runway 4 and sitting on the left side of the plane and looking out the window can be pretty mesmirizing. I remember when I could still see the smoke and the rubble while the sun was going down. It was pretty sad the first time I saw it.




Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4195 times:

Back in Jan 1998, I had just visited Uluru (Ayres Rock) in Australia.I had wanted to go on one of those helicopter tours where you fly over it, but couldn't afford it. However, 2 days later when I was flying back from SYD-SIN on SQ, I was watching the skymap and saw we would be passing close to the rock. I didn't think I had a hope in hell of seeing it, as those maps are not exactly highly detailed, and thought we would be too far accross to the east to see it.

Imagine my suprise when I looked out of the window as we passed right over the top of Yulara Airport (Ayres Rock Airport), and the rock and the Olgas were just below us to the west. I got to see the rock from the air, although not as close to it as in the helicopter tour (33,000ft as opposed to 1,000ft) but it was a great sight to see it one last time as I was leaving and to think just 2 days before I had been standing on the top of it !!.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3990 times:
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That rememind me! I had a similar experience at Uluru as well!


I visited the cockpit of the Qantas 737 Cockatiel while inflight to Uluru and as we approached, the pilots pointed out the Rock dead ahead.

Truly magnificient regardless of the height we were at being that it's so huge and surrounded by that vast, simple, quiet expanse.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3823 times:
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No one else here has had a meaningful flight they want to share? C'mon, don't tell me it's all about t/o, bev. service and landing.

What special or meaningful moments have you had in the air or in an airport for that matter?

That brings to mind a moment I had at KISP MacArthur airport in '85. It was where I learned that my uncle passed on due to cancer.

I found myself there again last month the day I proposed to my fiance.

Some things, you never forget.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineChicago From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 27 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3764 times:

The EXACT same thing happened to me on an AA approach to LGA the summer of '01. We were at about the same altitude and had already passed the begining of the runway when the pilot nailed the throttles beacause a plane was on the runway and cut left straight over Manhattan. The view of the city that low at night is simpily amazing. Only differerence was that the towers were still there as we passed by at low altitude. This is how I will always remember them in all their glory.

User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3571 times:
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Wow, seems like we had the same aerial view albeit with entirely different enthusiasm.

I would have rather have seen what you saw Chicago.

That memory will never leave me.


So no one else out there has had such experiences in the air?

I would really like to hear yours.



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User currently offlineContinentalEWR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3762 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3470 times:

I have flown out of LGA many times since 09/11 and can tell you that it is not uncommon for commercial aircraft to fly directly over or along the Hudson by Ground Zero. I flew to RIC from LGA on Delta Connection in January and we passed right over it. In fact, jets approaching LGA or taking off from it, typically fly right over Manhattan. They did before 9/11 and they still do. As a New Yorker, I find it a nerve-wracking experience to hear the whine of a jet over my head, flying so low. Usually, you can read the livery and tell what plane it is.

ContinentalEWR


User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3315 times:
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Unfortunately, none of the images came out as it was too dark.

Perhaps someone else may have photos.



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User currently offlineUps763 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

Was flying a photo flight over the Hudson in an R44 Helicopter pretty much north of Governor's Island and south of the Holland Tunnel while the photographers were taking pictures of boats. We were low, 150-200 AGL and passed right off the southern tip of Manhattan several times, myself and the other pilot got that strange feeling, thinking what used to be here and all the horrible events that occured here on that day. Very errie and sad feeling.


Matt


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