DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:27 am

This thought only crossed my mind once as I was traveling through storm clouds on an ASA Jetstream32 from IAD to PIT just about one year ago today. The turbulence was so severe, I didn't think our little plane could hold together much longer. It was pretty frightening.

How about you?
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:46 am

Only once - it was a Piedmont 727 out of CLT and our takeoff roll seemed exceptionally long. The gal sitting next to me (who wasn't even an aviation nut - just a frequent flyer) looked at me and said "shouldn't we be airborne by now?". All I could say was "yes". We finally did get airborne and the flight was uneventful, but the takeoff did put a bit of a scare in us.
 
DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:50 am

Been there GoingBoeing. Those long T/O rolls are instant adrenaline producers. Especially when the A/C is not known for long T/O rolls. Just last year this happened to me as we left Denver on a Continental 733; one of the longest T/O rolls I ever had.

Cheers, DIA
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
fritzi
Posts: 2598
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 2:34 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:56 am

Talking about the distances of T/O rolls, something that would be even scarier would be to see a A340-300 at MTOW lift off the rwy after only 5000 ft.  Big thumbs up
 
DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:00 am

Wit low fuel, no pax or cargo. . .maybe. Big grin
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
airworthy
Posts: 752
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 7:05 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:20 am

CVG-ATL in an early morning thunderstorm that was so bad you couldn't see the wing. It felt like we were descending for like an hour when ATL was closed and we were in a holding pattern.

I was thinking about that L-1011 in the everglades and hoping the pilots didn't mess up auto pilot!
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:25 am

I was in a Thai A300 about to land in Chiang Mai. I would say at about 800 AGL, the plane banked 10-15 degrees to the right. All I could see were treetops outside of right window and absolutely no horizon. I don't recall when the pilot corrected but we landed safely. I really thought we were going to start clipping trees.
 
DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:26 am

That, and check to see if the nose gear is down and locked!

Any of you ever see that movie??? I can't remember the actors name, but he said, as he was a ghost in the downstairs galley, "There will never be another crash of an L-1011."

Well, as you know, Delta had their L-1011 accident thereafter. . .
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:28 am

Little late I was. . .

My post above was in reference to Airworthy's remark "I was thinking about that L-1011 in the everglades and hoping the pilots didn't mess up auto pilot!"

DIA
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
dc-10 levo
Posts: 3376
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 3:22 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:29 am

Last year when I flew Airtours International (now MyTravel) we took off from MAN on our way to SFB. It was really cloudy and when I looked out of the window - the wing wasn't there! Big grin I was really scared and thought the wing had come off. Big grin Big grin. Fortunately when we were above the clouds, the wing came back into sight.

DC-10
 
jtamu97
Posts: 622
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 1:33 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:46 am

I was on a CO 727 departing Cozumel years back. The departure in Cozumel was to have the brakes applied, increase the throttle and then pop the brakes off..Our plane did that, but we had a very long take off roll, and our plane was really struggling to get off the ground. Once off the ground, we struggled to gain altitude and began a turn back over the ocean, still not climbing much. Looking back it was fun, but not at that moment. Speaking of turbulence and stuff, I found the pilots on SAA were the best at keeping passengers informed. Anytime the seatbelt sign would come back on, the captian would tell us the reason followed by maybe some big bumps, but nothing to worry about. Wish more pilots would keep the passengers informed.
Propeller, we don't need no stinkin propeller
 
UAL-Fan
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 1999 1:36 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:54 am

Just recently landing in Anchorage on an Alaska MD80. All I could think of was the poor souls that plunged into the Pacific on that same type of A/C of the Los Angeles coast.

Dark Dark fog, missed the runway the first time in and terrible turbulence. I almost lost my cookies.
 
exPratt
Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2000 6:15 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 2:18 am

Just recently on a DL 757 flight coming into BWI, I got concerned about whether there might be a problem. We were on short final when the airplane pitched up, then down, then pitched up again. On the second pitch up, power was applied and a go around was initiated. The engine power was increasing, decreasing, then increasing again. Once we got back up into the clouds, the airplane made some maneuver that really loaded up the Gs as you could feel yourself being pressed down into the seat. Then a few moments later, the crew must have lowered the nose as the G loads became less than 1.0 prompting a number of pax to start to scream. The pilots finally got on the PA to announce that they had to do a go around because an airplane that was under tow crossed the runway when they should have stopped. That may have been the case, but the go around was the worst one I have ever experienced.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 2:25 am

A flight from Fairoaks (near LHR) to Jersey and back to check out a pilot on the Aztec. I didn't see his log book but he claimed to have lots of time on type. Could have fooled me. We landed in the last quarter of the runway at Jersey, unfortunately the runway at Fairoaks isn't nearly as big or wide and the first approach was a disaster. The go around was flown so low and sloppy, I couldn't believe we didn't hit a tree or chimney pot. We got down on the second attempt but it was the only time I've ever been really scared in a plane.

Where, btw, do you get these ideas about commercial airliners "struggling" on hot days, short runways et al? It's all worked out in advance and while a takeoff may seem long, or a climbout may seem shallow, but none of it should come as a surprise to the chaps in the pointy bit. These are just different flight profiles depending on weight, temperature, a million other factors. Just cos it doesn't always feel like an empty 757 on a cold day doesn't mean anything is out of the ordinary. For example, I remember taking off in the middle of a boiling day from Dubai to LHR in a full PIA 747, and of course we rolled for 60 seconds or more, and then climbed very gradually (albeit with the nose very high) with the takeoff flaps set for about five minutes. Of course it felt sluggish but it was in practise exactly what was calculated beforehand in the ops room. Machines do what they are supposed to, and if they aren't up to it they usually give you loads of warning. It's people (see my Aztec story) that are usually the problem.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
FrequentFlyKid
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2001 5:04 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:00 am

There was only once time in all my flight experience that I thought something might be going badly. It was on a TWA 717-200 IAH-STL in November 2000. It was an extremely windy day across the midwest, something like sustained winds at 30-35 and gusts to 60+. On short final the 717 rolled very, very far to the left. The most I have ever seen. I still don't know exactly what caused it, my guess was windshear, but I may be wrong.

As far a long takeoff rolls go, I have had the exact opposite. I have had a couple of short takeoff rolls in DL 757's. One that sticks out was ORF 5 departure. We had rotated way before the passenger concourse at ORF.
 
travellin'man
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 1:55 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doo

Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:22 am

Twice:

Most recently at Xmas on United NRT-LAX about an hour out of Tokyo we hit turbulence so hard and so quick that I thought a piece of the plane had broken off. The engines revved as we started to climb, but the change of pressure felt like it was pushing us down at the same time. Engine lights kept going on. this went on for maybe 45 seconds, and people were SCREAMING!

Then on a TWA prop JFK-BOS with 100 knot headwinds; I never thought we would make it.

Both times I thought, "This is it."
It is not enough to be rude; one must also be incorrect.
 
jfktowerfan
Crew
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 12:58 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:22 am

Mine was my first memory of flying. I was on an Eastern 752 from LGA-PBI(I think), I was maybe 10 years old, anyway when we landed I thought we were doomed b/c the half the engine had fallen off or something.....Turns out that didn't happen it was just a little thing called activation of the thrust reverser! C'mon I was young and didn't know any better.

Corey
C'mon Man
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:46 am

cedarjet - I'll agree about the "struggling" part of your post, however after travelling 80% of my life, a good part of it in 727's taking off from Dallas and Denver on hot days, the takeoff roll on an autumn day in CLT was a whole lot longer than any of the other 727's I've been on. The "planners" should have done a little better planning on that one as they scared the bejeezus out of several folks on that plane.
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 4:28 am

I was on a Delta MD-88 flying from SAT-DFW when I smelled something that smelled like smoke. Other passengers smelled it as well but didn't say anything about it at the time. This was shortly after the Valujet crash in the Florida everglades. We maintained what appeared to me to be an unusually low altitude and landed at DFW without incident. I asked the captain about the situation when we landed, and he said nothing had gone wrong.

Another time I was on approach to ATL in a Delta 737-800 from IAH. The airport had been closed for awhile for thunderstorms, and then we began to proceed in for landing. The wind gusts were so bad it was obvious that the pilots were struggling to maintain control of the aircraft. We touched down with somewhere in the range of 30 kts crosswind. I told the crew "good job; that couldn't have been easy"

There have been other cases which I can't recall. Like one time I was on a 757 from LAS-LAX and I could hear a flapping noise that I've never heard before from the center of the cabin that would appear intermittently throughout the flight.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
vermeer
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 6:21 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 5:39 am

this would be hilarious if it was not almost tragic...

CO from LGA to BOS. Morning flight on a MD80. I NEEDED to use the restroom but the plane was stuck on the runway and I was sitting for 45 minutes unable to move from my seat.

We gain altitude. As soon as the lights go off I jump in the back lavatory, close to the right engine.
JUSTwhen I start to relieve myself ( or in the words of Singapore_air " leaving only liquid residues") the engine SHUTS OFF.
The plane banks immediately. I struggle with my pants' fyer while I am NOT hearing the familiar engine sound and ( still a little wet) I grab a seat and strap myself in. Praying.
Right on my side the F/A is nervously talking with the captain via the intercom and I am a teensy bit FREAKED OUT.
You must know that my partner is completely afraid to fly ( once I made him cry telling him we were too low during take-off, but that's another story) and he was sitting alone way in the front. I was scared for me and for him being alone.
After the F/A hungs up the plane starts to level and the engine works again. She was pale, so was I. When asked "ok, HOW bad is it?" she was dismissing the thing but she told me that the "problem" was solved but it could have been not pleasant.

When finally I move back to my original seat my partner looked quiet. He did not speak, just stared at me, saw how pale I was and freaked out right on the spot.
When asked if he wasn't afraid before, he told me that beacuse I was not at his side he couldn't see how bad it was ( NOT EVEN IF it was) therefore he was unable to determine the gravity of the situation.
Basically I work as his fear thermometer. Go figure.
We landed safely and the flight back was cancelled.
 
CMK10
Posts: 1826
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:56 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 5:42 am

JFK-ORY in 1995. Nice AA 762 but things didnt look good at JFK. We got delayed for 2 1/2 hours due to thunderstorms in the take off area. Finnaly we taxied out and on take off the plane just felt like it was coming apart and it was the only time I thought I was going to die on a plane, I felt like my body went but I left my stomuch at Gate 9.
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 5:51 am

1985, when the towline broke on a glider I was in. Ended in a crash with minor damage.
1989, fuel emergency (major leak) on an Aeroflot Tu-154. Made an emergency landing at Alma Ata, crashtenders lining the runway.
1989, malfunctioning pressure cabin on an Aeroflot An-26. Had to stay low (which has it's charms, you get to see the scenery better).
1989, very violent flying on an Aeroflot Tu-154 on approach to Moscow.
I wish I were flying
 
mandala499
Posts: 6458
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:03 am

Here's mine...

05Jul01, QZ937, Surabaya (WRSJ/SUB) - Jakarta(WIII/CGK)
PK-AWA, A310-300, JT9Ds

I never knew I would had a trip from hell…. But here goes…

I turned up at Surabaya airport with no bookings and needed to get back to Jakarta quickly. Turning up at 3.30, Garuda’s 4 and 5pm flights were full, Mandala’s 4.30 was full, and the next available flights were 1800 on Garuda and 1830 on Mandala. An Awair “scalper” came up to me…

“Sir, try AWAir… cheap! (20USD cheaper) New airline, and you’ll fly on an Airbus! It’s New! 4pm departure” (yea right it’s new ! Baloney!)

So I tried anyway, gave him the money and he disappeared into the check in counter… 5 minutes later he emerged with a boarding pass and my name was misspelled! I don’t know what deal he had, but what the heck…

I went into the departure lounge, and it was full… soon, my flight was called up and we were bused to the A310… Climbed up the rear stairs…

“Yea, new plane my butt, it’s bigger and it’s a longer climb to the cabin!”

I entered the airplane, and had my seat… left window 2 rows ahead of the rear exit. I looked up and ooh… the aircon tube vents are of 2 different colours, and only on my row… someone looked it over in maintenance.

The moving map display still had “Swissair” logo displayed… Doors were closed, and the flight was full… the cabin crew went around offering sweets prior to the safety demo. The safety demo was then performed… “Property of Lufthansa” was on the demo flight jackets…

We entered runway 27 again, and took off after an SQ A310 landed. During the take off roll, I noticed something was wrong… I looked at the wing tip and fuel was pouring out… I thought it was just excess fuel… we rotated and the leak got worse… then we made a 160 degree left turn to follow the departures… and it got worse… I began sweating and trembling. A refinery is up ahead and with open flames. If I have a parachute, I’d jump out NOW !…

We straightened and climbed, but the fuel didn’t stop pouring out. I called the flight attendant…

“Excuse me miss, but why are we leaking fuel ?” I pointed at the wing tip…
“Oh, that’s not fuel sir, that’s engine contrails”
“But we’re only at 8,000 feet, we don’t have contrails at this altitude in the tropics, besides, the engines aren’t on the wingtips !!!!!”
“uuuhm, it’s wing tip turbulence sir!”
Yea right, I thought to myself…

“Miss, look carefully, It’s below the wing tip! Not on, not behind! It’s where the fuel gets dumped!”
“Oooh that sir,” she smiled, “That’s normal on this plane, it’ll get thicker as we go faster and higher…” she walked off…

I was shocked… Why am I on this plane? By then it was 15,000 feet and I took a photo of the trail… it didn’t stop until 28,000 feet…

I thought it was bad enough the stewardess told me whatever it was… then, the cabin supervisor patrolled the cabin and walked passed my row, and she saw the rear left door’s slide hasn’t been armed… I can’t help overhearing the arguments that ensued…

CS: “Who’s in charge of this door ?”
FA1: “Me ma’am, why ?”
CS: “Why isn’t the slide armed?”

Then another f/a joined in…
FA2: “Oh ma’am, I saw the slide arming lever not positioned properly, so I armed it for her…”
CS: “You idiot! You disarmed the slide! You two should have crosschecked it anyway!”

Again, WHY AM I ON THIS PLANE ! I saved $20 and 2hrs of wait, but was it worth the risk????

Cabin service was mediocre… the meal box was awful, at least a nice f/a (not the one that I asked about the fuel venting) asked me why I was so pale and nervous…

“Nevermind” I told her… “You wouldn’t believe it anyway”

I was looking forward for descent into Jakarta. We descended late from 35,000 feet. Engines went into idle and we made a dive… the nose down was more than 5 degrees…

Then, the left engine spooled down and vibrated. The plane yawed and banked a bit and then corrected itself. From the left side, no engine noise, I can hear the other engine… Oh great, now an engine failure! No announcement from the cockpit.

If that was a fuel leak, someone forgot to cross feed !

FL310, FL300, FL290, FL270…. Hmm, they’ll probably restart at 24,000…
FL260, FL250, FL240, FL230… Restart attempt #1 failed.
FL220… Someone’s cell phone went on… then other people made calls…!
FL210, FL200, FL190.. My cell phone rang… oops !
FL180… Restart #2 failed.
FL170, FL150, FL130… Restart #3 failed.

“Oh boy, I’m in trouble now”

FL120, FL110, FL100… Time to send a panic SMS…
FL090, FL080, FL070… Restart #4 successful… FINALLY…

We intercepted localizer 25R at 6,000… then descended to 2,000 for the final approach. Despite both engines now running, the pilot used a lot of rudder… something not very nice after all I’ve been through this flight and sitting at the back!

I was grateful that we landed safely at CGK. I rushed to get out and went into the toilet at the terminal… I then realized how pale I was and that my legs were shaking…

I had shaved 2 hrs of wait, 20USD of fares and 2 days from my life expectancy!

Curious, the next day, I "just happened" to go to lunch on a table next to a bunch of Airbus engineers from France who are training GA maintenance on the A330... I showed them the photo of the "vapour"...

One of them had been an A310 engineer and said:

It has to be something with the fuel overflow valve. However, it couldn't have been from an overflow because it went up to 28000 - 35000 feet... So their conclusion was that they had to drain some of the fuel from the outer tanks. Somehow, someone forgot to close the fuel vent box (switch).

They said the procedure would be to transfer as much fuel to the other wing as possible, but not when climbing. And at the same time, try and close the valve from the cockpit. Should that be successful or not, the aircraft should have returned to the airport immediately and evacuated. Only a manual inspection can determine the safety of the vent box.

He went on to say that the engine failure I suspected was indeed an engine failure, because of the vibrations. He said it would be a no-fuel engine failure that would match the description.

He said I was lucky to be alive ! *yikes* He also said, “Don’t fly this airline for another 6 months… by then, they’d had a crash, or the problem would have been fixed”

5 months later, the same plane landed in Balikpapan and had a tailpipe fire to the left engine while taxying… the emergency crew who just happened to be on exercise out next to the taxiway extinguished the fire. A lawsuit was launched by AWAir for 4million USD.

AWAir ceased operations in March 2002. I was happy to see them leave. They last operated a single A320. Now there’s a 6m lawsuit launched against the airline by travel agents for not refunding deposits for unsold tickets. Con Job!

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:19 am

Hey, that sounds like a flight me and Bob my copilot made. Those of you who know me know what I mean.
 
Msh744
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 10:09 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:44 am

Not as scary as many other stories, but after departure from CDG on a BA 757, we took off pretty steeply and I heard a loud scrape/bang coming from the tail area. It wasn't the gear because I was sitting on top of the gear. I thought we had had a tailstrike, but we made it to LHR in one piece. After the flight, there were no windows near our arrival gate, so I couldn't inspect the tail section. Not too exciting, but it had me worried for a few seconds. I never figured out what that sound was...

-Msh744
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 7:05 am

On January 26, 2002, I was on an AirTran 717-2BD, and we were on final approach. Suddenly The plane banked sharply to the left and the nose went down. The pilot recovered very quickly, but I later found out that we had entered a company DC-9 wake Turbulence.
Puhdiddle
 
BDRules
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2000 6:31 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 8:02 am

Mine was BA flight from BCN - BHX on 732 in 2000. coming in to land we were going that slow and we were dropping that fast that i thought it was going to be a heavy landing/crash. last minute pilot hit full throttle and we went around. if we would of carried on we would of been short of the runway by 20feet.

No joke we were max 20feet off ground and the shadow was under the ac instead of being out my window on decent. I lost complete shadow. That was scary. when we finally did land we were going slow enough not to use reverse thrust and just breaks. that was scary

my sister was a little tense when we were going to Australia from MAN with Airtours/Mytravel. After take off and the pilot reduces the power to climd power my sister thought the plane was starting to fall out the sky and burst in to tears. i couldnt help but laugh
 
clipper471
Crew
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:44 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 8:09 am

Engine 3 compressor stall, Boeing 747-400, caused a LOUD bang as well as a bright flash. This happened just during climb-out at night, UAL863, SFO-SYD, shortly after 9/11. I was seated in an aisle seat when this happened, not paying attention to the takeoff. I was settling in for the 14 hour flight after a short delay when...

...three things happened at the same time: (1) for a split second, the cabin noticably "lit up" with a bright flash since the cabin lights were dimmed for takeoff, (2) the very LOUD bang, (3) and a couple of women shreiked in the cabin (as they obviously were looking out the window). Soon after there were many passengers calling the flight attendents with their "call" buttons. I noticed most people surveying the situation, looking around to see what was up. I locked glances momentarily with a female passenger, obviously both of us concerned. I was concerned, but at the same time I felt that we were still climbing, so I wasn't "alarmed".

Within a minute the flight attendent addressed us, saying the captain would give us an update as soon as he is able to, and that "everything is normal". While the situation wasn't grave, it certainly was more than "normal". The captain informed us about ten or fifteen minutes later that the number three engine had a compressor stall, which caused the engine to "backfire". He explained that while the engine was, at that moment, operating normally according to their flight computers and verified by the engineers at their maintenance base also monitoring the engine, they still didn't want to cross the Pacific (14 hours, 7500 miles) because of the minor engine interruption.

Understandibly, we were way to heavy to land, not having made it very far from the airport after takeoff. We dumped fuel for 90 minutes while circling over Half Moon Bay before returing to land. The very experienced and senior flight attendents couldn't tell us anything about what was to happen when we landed. I assumed that engineers would check things out and move us on our way. The first announcement when the cabin door was opened was that "this aircraft is being taken out of service" and that a replacement aircraft would be made ready for the flight late the next morning (it was 1:30am by now). Connecting passengers were put up in hotels in the area. As we weren't able to claim any checked bags those that were "unprepared" for such an incident were given overnight kits (I am happy to report that this has happened to me before and I always carry one change of clothing and basic toiletries in my carry-on).

Late the next morning, the flight departed. Because we now were crossing the Pacific during the day we could see the islands in the South Pacific from the cabin windows (Fiji, etc.). One very noticeable difference on what was now "UAL863D" was the age difference of the cabin crew from the original flight and this flight. One flight attendent that seemed to be in his early twenty's said that these "unscheduled" flights are quickly staffed with any available flight attendents, and that he received the phone call to ask that he staff this flight WHILE WE WERE STILL CIRCLING and dumping fuel.
 
Msh744
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 10:09 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:07 am

I just remembered another. I was too young to understand the situtaion and be scared, but it might be more frightening now (with more knowledge about aviation). In 1995 I think it was, I was on a NW A320 departing MSP for LGA. Shortly after takeoff, a major flight system (not sure what it was) failed, causing us to return to MSP immediately. All kinds of rescue vehicles surrounded our aircraft. I'm not sure if we dumped fuel or not, as I don't remember many details. I do, however, have a short mind "video clip" that is etched in my brain of all of these rescue vehicles racing down the tarmac to meet our plane at the gate. I don't even remember the landing or if any damage was done to the plane. We were eventually switched onto a DC-9 to LGA.

-Msh744
 
DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:11 am

Ahh, yes. The good 'ole switch to the classic DC-9. Seems to me you lucked out on that one. A ride in a DC-9 before they're gone, is a ride to never forget.

Good stories everyone! Very entertaining/interesting!

DIA
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
Flyawa
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2000 2:07 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:16 am

How about BA flight 9, as profiled by NBC Dateline on U.S. TV last week, on its encounter with volcanic ash off Java several years ago?

Does anyone have the tail number of the aircraft involved?
Better than most, not as good as some.
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:19 am

DIA, I have flown on 2 of AirTran's DC9s, and the experience was horrible. All through the flight, I had such a bad headache, I felt like the White bag in the pocket in front of me was about to come to use. My headache did not subside until 7 hours later @ 10:45 PM. The flight on the DC9 back I sat in the very front of coach. 10A (though I was assigned 16F). I still got a headache, but it wasn't as bad. I vowed never to fly on another DC-9. The Flight itself was Ok, and I like the DC9 because she is reliable, but AirTran's are just too loud, and smelly. It smelled like the last cabin filter change had been done in the 1970s. Not to mention I flew on a sister ship of N904VJ (N903VJ) (N803AT) N803AT was the flight back that wasn't so bad.
Puhdiddle
 
trintocan
Posts: 2725
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:20 am

Once, in 1983 when I was flying from YYZ to LGA on an AA 727-200. The plane flew into a relatively small cloud but then the flight became a bit bumpy and then - kapoot! - a downdraft wafted the plane a few hundred feet down! Most passengers began screaming, a man was drenched by his soup and I yelled to my mother, "We're going to crash!". The captain came on shortly afterwards apologising for that act of nature. The flight continued uneventfully but for the next few flights that I would make within the US in the weeks after I was afraid of a recurrence. That was when I was 9.

TrintoCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
redngold
Posts: 6673
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 12:26 pm

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doo

Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:44 pm

February 1988, Eastern Metro Express, DeHavilland Dash 8-100, PBI-JAX.

We took off on a hot, humid afternoon and flew approximately 1/2 way to JAX before anyone realized something was wrong. My father was looking out the window and he said "look at those clouds! Isn't that amazing?" But we kept going closer and closer to those clouds which were rapidly building into anviled cumulonimbus thunderheads.

Eventually we started feeling the beginning of the turbulence. That's when our pilot told us over the PA "We can't turn around because we've used too much fuel going into headwinds; we can't go east because of the ocean; we can't go west because of the storms. So we have to go to Jacksonville, but it's going to be rough." Then he said what struck fear into our hearts, "The traffic controllers are going to do their best to get us through this safely."

For the next twenty minutes or so, we were tossing, yawing and rocking like I've never been through again in my life. There were times when we nearly went wings vertical. We would get through one patch of heavy turbulence, see the ground, and go back into the cloud bank and through another round of turbulence. I kept repeating the Lord's Prayer and my mother was pretty upset next to me. I also kept trying to be brave, turning around to my dad and my sister seated behind me and my mom, asking them if they were OK.

The woman across the aisle from my mom threw up. So did about 3/4 of the people on the plane. We could not see anything outside the window except when we came through the clouds, and it was extremely dark even for 4:00 in the afternoon.

We finally landed and taxied what seemed full throttle off the runway. They took us inside through pouring ice-cold rain and held us in the lower gate area, not allowing us up into the main concourse. We found out why about 1/2 hour later when we were allowed upstairs; there had been a tornado warning for Jacksonville. Lightning was still flashing all around us and our outbound to EWR was delayed at least an hour.

So what we did was land a DH-8 in a Level 5/6 thunderstorm. There's no reason why any of us 35 people should be alive today other than the grace of God.

Today if I was in that situation again I'd say "hell, put it down at Kennedy Space Center!" But they also have on-board radar and much better doppler systems, as well as better understanding of heat and humidity and how the heat convection can cause these popcorn violent storms in Florida that don't happen anywhere else. I hope it wouldn't happen today, but you never know.


redngold
Up, up and away!
 
westjet_8
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 11:38 am

RE: Ever Thought Your Flight Was In Trouble Or Doomed?

Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:30 pm

YUL-YYC. I was in an Air Canada A321 and about 3 mins after takeoff it started shuddering and didn't stop for about another 5 -10mins. Then on landing at YYC it started to shudder again and they put up down on the short east - west runway because of major crosswinds.
Canadian. RIP 1999

Who is online