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Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 6:26 am

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
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 6:54 am

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!

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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 7:25 am

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!

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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 7:38 am

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
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:01 am

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!)

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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:05 am

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.

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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:10 am

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!
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:19 am

Any flight in a Let L-410 is a scary flight...even knowing it's a safe plane (I guess)
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:22 am

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 !

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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 11:01 am

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..
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 11:25 am

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

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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 11:58 am

Ever done an inverted spin??? Let me tell you, what a ride!!!!!!!!!!!
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 1:11 pm


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.
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 9:23 pm

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.
fly Korean Air ....
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:32 pm


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.
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:33 am

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,
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sun Dec 14, 2003 2:34 am

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.
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sun Dec 14, 2003 2:48 am

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.
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sun Dec 14, 2003 3:15 am

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.
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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sun Dec 14, 2003 3:44 am

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.

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RE: Your Scariest Flight?

Sun Dec 14, 2003 7:27 am

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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