Your Strangest Airline Experience

Wed Jul 05, 2000 4:29 pm

I'm sure most of you have flown many times before, but what was your strangest, scariest, or most unusual experience on an airline? Where there any close calls that you saw or experienced? Scary approaches? Anything goes that's out of the ordinary! How about turbulence. Has anyone been in turbulence so bad you thought the plane would come apart, or anyone been in a lightning storm? Share with us your worst, scariest, or most unusual experience!!!

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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Wed Jul 05, 2000 8:38 pm

My strangest experience was on a BA flight from Heathrow to Madrid. Just before push-back, airport police boarded the plane and arrested 18 drunken passengers (this at 9 in the morning), who had stolen the life jackets from a previous flight and worn them inflated (!) through Heathrow airport. We were delayed 2 hours, but it is the one delay I still get a chuckle out of when I think about it.  
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Wed Jul 05, 2000 8:53 pm

My strangest happenes a few years ago. We were returning from Puerto Rico to Orlando on a Boeing 757 and, about 30 minutes before we were due to fly over Miami, the cabin slowly (not explosively, thank God) depressurized! We went down (quickly, must've been -2,000 ft/min) to about 10,000 or so and our captian tried to repressurize...but couldn't. We took an emergency landing in MIA and were sitting in the lounge for two hours knowing nothing as to what had happened. The pilot (after maintenance finished with the number 2 engine) examined the engine, ran to the head maintenance guy and yelled something at him. We were then told what had happened: the #2 engine's bleeder valve failed and the captain refused to accept the aircraft. He demanded another that he was qualified to fly on (it is now about 11:30PM) an hour later they get him a Boeing 727...they bumped a few (willing) passengers off and finally, at about 1:30AM, we returned interesting day's experience it was!
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 12:27 am

A strange experience was aboard an MD-80 on final approach to La Guardia. The plane was was close to the ground, when a strong gust blew the plane off course and the flight attendant across the aisle in the jump seat started screaming "We're crashing in the water!!"
Needless to say, the flight attendant was terminated from duty.
I will not name the airline.
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 12:43 am

Flight aborted on takeoff roll:

Summer of '86, AA 727-025: during takeoff, a gentleman sitting in the seat in front of me had a stroke. He slumped into the ailse. The flight attendant, who was stationed in the jumpseat next to the galley in the middle of the coach cabin (remeber those?), grabbed her phone and the takeoff was aborted.

The gent was removed from the plane via a stretcher.

"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
- R.M. Rilke

RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 1:42 am

there was this one time in the summer of 96 when i was flying wiht my family from malaga (in spain) to madrid (obviously in spain) on a new airbus 320 , we were sitting in business class although the difference wasn't that great ... anyway ... as soon as we landed in madrid we went out of the aircraft using stairs instead of a jetway ... there were a few police cars surrounding the A320 , a guy ran out of the crowd that was going down from the economy side and the olice caught him it turned that there was a criminal onboard ... just a thought ... what if he hi-jacked the plane???

RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 3:00 am

A few years back I was on an Air Canada DC-9 from Montreal to New York. We were on descent and the flight attendants were just clearing the rest of the trays/ drinks etc. The pilot had warned of some turbulence and had put the seatbelt sign on. All of a sudden we hit a gust of wind so bad that everything went flying upwards. The guy across from me had his hair full of milk and it was still dripping from the overhead bins. I had tea all over me. When it was all over and done with the guy said to the FA "He, he, first time I've washed my hair with milk"

RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:09 am

LOL!!!! Those are great. Anyone else have some strange experiences? I really can't say I've had any, but I've had an unusual experience before, but it wasn't on an airliner. We had this short hop on a Cessna from my home airport, PIH, and the pilot could really tell I was into aviation. I guess it wasn't hard to tell! I kept talking about things I was planning, my airline, and anything aviation related. So he asked "So, how much do you know about how an airplne flies, and what the gauges do?" I told him what I knew of how an airplane gets off the ground, flies, turns, and identified almost every gauge in the Cessna. Next thing I know he say's "Let's see..." and puts my hand on the controls!! I flew the airplane for a good five minutes!!! I won't tell you the pilot's name, because he could have his licens take away for what he did, but it was the best and most unusual day of my life!!!
OK, so have you had any of the really GREAT unusual experiences???

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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 8:53 am

my strangest flight wasn't that strange, but the truthfull pilot made it that way. After an aborted take off due to a thrust reverser warning light turing on. we abort the take off and go back to the gate. visual inspectioned showed the reverser as normal and the maintanence guys dissconnected 1 of the 2 thrust reverser warning systems. We then tryed to take off again and during take off, the other warning light turns on. we abort and shut down the plane as soon as we pull off the runway. after about 5 minutes of waiting for a tug to pull us from the gate. the captain tells us that we were going to ignore the final warning light and take off anyways. This being a few days after an egypt air 767 crashed due to a thrust reverser malfunctioning. we were all scared to death, and the lady across the isle was white as a ghost and squesing the hell out of the pilow. Even i had to check my pants in the lav afterwords. after take off we flew around buenose aires for 20 minutes and then i saw the captain go to his bunk, and i knew things were ok  
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 1:25 pm

I was flying on a Canada 3000 A-320 from LAX to YYZ. About 2 minutes into our takeoff climb we hit a HUGE air pocket that sent the aircraft into a free fall that felt like an eternity. Actually it lasted only about 5 seconds or so, but myself and most of the other passengers were screaming like we were going to die. I will never forget that feeling of the plane dropping like that!
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 1:38 pm

I was on a flight from DFW to MIA on a AA 727-200 and when we were landing the pilot held the plane over the runway for so long that the plane almost stall and the A/c hit the runway so hard that two wheels blew .
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Toilet Water.

Thu Jul 06, 2000 1:45 pm

Some of you may have heard about the Air Canada flight from Manchester UK last week that had blue toilet blocks dropped into their drinking water. Well, our aircraft was serviced from the same water tanker and flew MAN-CDG. I was part of the crew that picked up the flight in Paris. We had 110 pax that had flown from MAN, but all crew were new.

We joined the queue for departure and got an urgent ACARS message **URGENT URGENT. DO NOT TAKEOFF. DRINKING WATER CONTAMINATED**. So we returned to the bay and were told that it would take all day to drain and flush out the tanks as well as change all the filter on board. Engineering opted instead to drain and refill the tanks, put chlorine in it so that it could be used as water to wash your hands with, and load 400 bottles of water, stored everywhere from ovens to toilets and the crew rest area!!!

Most of the 110 pax had drunk coffee and tea made from this blue water, including some of the cabin and flight deck crew. We contacted both our company doctor and the local doctor who didn't know what the effects of drinking the stuff was. Benzl something chloride it was. We contacted the Poison control centre in paris, who kept telling us to contact various people around the company. In the end we gave up, and the local doctor said that if anything was going to happen, it would already have done. So we took off. It was strange knowing that at any moment, we could be short of one of our first officers and cabin crew, as well as a considerable number of passengers, if this blue stuff was actually harmful!!
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 5:20 pm

I was on a flight from PHX to DTW sitting in an aft facing seat on Southwest, we had reached cruising altitude and beverage service had started. After hearing a loud deep groaning type sound we dropped what seemed like maybe 5,000 ft very quickly. Drinks spilt and FA's scrambled to clean up and look calm. I had asked the guy next to me if he had any idea what might have happened, well did I get lucky. He worked for SWA as a mechanic and gave a detailed answer as to what might have happened. He mentioned something about it seemed like the capt. must thought he needed more lift?? I cannot remember. However after we landed and deplaned (we were not supposed to deplane, only pick up more passengers) we were told that they were going to replace the a/c because of a warning light malfunction. I will always wonder what really happened and I am very grateful for great skills of the FA's and the Capt. Oh and that mechanic!
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:55 pm

One event, One story:

Arriving at Stansted many years ago in an Aviaco DC-9, on final approach the aircraft flew out of the relatively low cloud cover. Within a second or so, a huge amount of power was applied and we disappeared up into the clouds again, only to pop out again shortly afterwards and land apparently as normal. My guess is that maybe a gust had taken us very quickly off the glidescope, but it certainly made me sit up and take attention.

My story may sound a bit far fetched, but I swear it is true. Also, no offence meant to our German friends on the forum.

En route LHR-HKG in 1993 aboard a CX744, I wangled my way into the jump seat at dawn, spending a couple of very pleasant hours with the crew. At the time the aircraft was about to enter Afghanistan, which had no effective ATC. As I understand matters the crew established a heading prior to entering Afghan airspace which would be kept, with a very good lookout all the way to Pakistan. Further all aircraft in the area, notified each other of their locations, courses and headings. I heard calls from a Quantas 744 (and later saw it as spectacular opposite direction) and a BA flight ahead of us. Next was an open call from a LH flight. Just as the young HK national first officer was about to call, the senior British captain, turned to him and said "stop, never give your position away to the Germans!". I am not sure if it was a show for me, but all three of us laughed loudly. Just to end matters, the crew failed to call Pakistan ATC before entering their airspace and received a real bollocking from the controller for not going so.

Hope my story does not give a poor impression of CX, because my own impression was the opposite.

Given the flight ended with the classic checquer board approach, this was probably one of the best 12 hours of my life.
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Fri Jul 07, 2000 2:40 am

"few days after an egypt air 767 crashed due to a thrust reverser malfunctioning"

FYI - there is NO evidence that a thrust reverser malfunction caused the Egyptair crash. Rather, the black box data as well as the voice recording data all point to the AC being deliberatly brought down by the co-pilot.

You should really avoid statements that can not be backed up by the known facts.
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Fri Jul 07, 2000 7:01 am

I was on an AirBC BAe 146-200 on the Easter weekend this year at YVR, about to depart for YEG, and I had a pretty weird aborted takeoff - which happened twice actually on the same flight! What happened was that we boarded the 146 and the plane taxiied to the south parallel runway at YVR. The crew put the plane on to the runway in takeoff position. The BAe 146 started rolling along, then the pilots put the brakes on before it could rotate - it was a very smooth stop, none of us got jerked forward. Then they had to taxi the plane back to the same end of the runway, and the plane started going again, then stopped like it did before. That was when the crew announced over the PA that an electronic nav problem has been detected, which was a little odd, as I thought the aborted takeoff had something to do with the wings or the engines (maybe that also happened). So the plane taxied out of the way to a spot on the tarmac and sat there for at least 7 minutes. We didn't have to go back to the gate, for the problem was apparently corrected, and we were able to get on the runway and take off for YEG without any further problems.

This was the first time I've seen any problems on any the BAe 146s I've flown on, and I believe that Air Canada's regionals (AirBC & Air Nova) are proud to maintain those planes very well, for those RJs under these regionals have an excellent safety record. So, this kind of problem was likely something rare, yet the pilots were able to something about it and get the whole show on the road (or in the air).
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Fri Jul 07, 2000 9:58 pm

Two little happenings that I experienced:

1. A Pan Am 747-100 from JFK to ZRH. It was the evening flight and there was a hell of people who`d like to board the plane. The crew members were very stressed cause the plane was overbooked. They put some pax at the jumpseats and the overhead bins were extremly full of baggage. The plane pushed back while passengers still were taking seat and the crew still helping them. They pushed back cause the crew would`t lose the slot. So, after all were sit down we was seconds for beginnig take off. After a never ending going down the runway we took off, and quite 50% of the overhead bins opened. I tell was crazy. So much baggage, stuff and jackets etc. flew through the cabin. It was a big chaos. But funny.

2. Air Malto A320 from ZRH to Malta. Over Italy they were big thunderstorms and bad weather. We had some really heavy turbulences. I was reading a book and the plane shaked so much that i could`t see the sentences anymore on my book. A Pax next to me started praying. And I have to confess...i was scared too. Finaly after one hour of shaking heads we touched down on the wet runway and the plane (we noticed ) slipped a few seconds on the runway. My heart did a big bump. At least we arrived very well.



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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Sun Jul 09, 2000 9:33 am

Several years ago flying from JFK to BOM, via LHR on AI, we were pretty much through boarding when the proverbial "Is there a Dr. on board", came over the PA. The gentleman behind me got up and was escorted down to the main cabin (we were on the upper deck). He returned shortly, the plane was closed up and we backed away from the gate. All the while he was shaking his head and saying that we'd likely end up with a dead women on board long before we reached LHR. Apparently a women was experiancing symptoms similar to a heart attack, and the Dr. had suggested we get her off the plane, but the Captain, concerned about our slot, had refused. This being the nighttime rush at JFK, it took us a good 30minutes to get out to the runway, but we finally did, lined up, started our roll. Which was just as quickly aborted. It appears the women had expired as predicted, and she was discovered just prior to take-off. Needless to say, we returned to the gate, she and her family were deplaned, along with all the luggage, etc, and we missed our slot.

As a P.S. this, a friend cut an article out for me that related how an elderly women had died shortly after being removed from an AI flight to LHR. Just goes to show that no one ever 'dies' on a plane.

"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Tue Jul 11, 2000 2:26 pm

Well, this happened when i was on my way to a job interview in Bangalore from Bombay on a Indian Airlines Flight.

The A320 flight was delayed by over 2 hours due to a technical snag. As is their wont, the IC staff wouldnt tell anyone what the snag was.

The aircraft finally took off over 2 hrs late. barely 15 minutes after takeoff, we were lashed by torrential rain, and th aircraft was like swaying from side to side. Around 10 minutes later, a lound bang was heard from the left side, and the aircraft dipped sharply towards the left. A Loud 'buzzing' sound was coming from the left engine. The passengers were by now getting restless as the cabin lights had dimmed as well, and the cabin crew were whispering in hushed tones. The rain had stopped, but we were hit by gusts of wind as we neared Bangalore, and the aircraft was swaying wildly.

The only communication from the flight deck was the First Officer came on the PA and tersely asked the 'Cabin-crew to return to stations'. There was no more communication from her. Dinner plates were hurriedly put away. The 'buzzing' sound had been replaced by total silence on that side of the aircraft: the engine had probably been shutdown. We landed uneventfully around 30 minutes later. To this day nobody knows what went wrong on that flight! It seems to be an engine failure or something. Whatever it was, it does make me think before i purchase a flight ticket!

Another experience I had, was when i was checking in for the short flight to Mumbai from Pune, also on Indian Airlines. As i was proceeding for my security check, a passenger rushed in virtually screaming that another passenger who had just cleared his security had a gun on him! Now this was barely a week after the Indian Airlines hijacking, and the whole place kinda erupted. Eventually, it turned out to be cigarette lighter!

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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Tue Jul 11, 2000 3:32 pm

I remember a strang Eastern Airlines flight late at night from New York to Miami. It was an L1011 that seemed determined to stay in New York and take the night off. Shortly after boarding the air conditioning called it quits and the lights did too for 5 or 10 seconds at a time. As a result we stayed at the gate for some time as the plane keept shutting down By now people are getting a little nervious about even leaving and now that the planes cabin temperature was getting extreamly hot, a few New Yorkers started to voice their opinion about the airvraft and airline if you know what I mean. Soon enough we pushed back and taxied out to the runway. We got about half way and turned around back towards the terminal again. I thought this was strange and peeked out the window as a flashing light outside cought my attention. I looked further and noticed about 5 fire trucks following close behind as engines started shutting down. It turns out that there was a huge flame coming from the number 2 engine as we were taxing out. So I guess that plane turned out the winner. We returned to the gate and luckly there was another L1011 at the gate beside ours. It took a while to switch over but we did it and arrived in Miami around 2am.

Another was an aborted landing on an US Air 737-200 in Charlotte after a large turtle was spotted on the runway. Not only that there was some fools out on the runway trying to save the day for the turtle. We saw them running fast off the active runway covering their heads as we passed over. The captain did get a laugh from everyone as he tried to explain the problem trying not to crack himself up.
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Opps! I Almost Forgot

Tue Jul 11, 2000 3:44 pm

On final in DCA a guy on a boat below mooned our plane as we passed by. Several people on the flight started laughing. I can't imagine what people on the other side of the plane thought we were all laughing at.

After boarding a fully packed Piedmont 727-200 in MIA bound for CLT the gate got stuck to the door of the aircraft and broke it. Flight was canceled naturally. Not to many thrilled people that day.
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Tue Jul 11, 2000 5:39 pm

It was in 1993 on a Boeing 737 flight on PIA between Karachi and Islamabad. There were extreamly turbulences during the flight and all (muslim) people began praying in a loud voice! It was a chorous of praying! This was very strange for me.


RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Tue Jul 11, 2000 5:47 pm

I posted my strangest Airline experience in the Tech/Ops forum (see: Static Discharges).

I did recently have a rather harrowing experience aboard a Cessna 172 worth relating. I'm an airborne reporter for two radio stations in Chicago. We cover all the tollways and expressways in the greater Chicago area. While O'Hare rarely lets us transition their Bravo Airspace, Midway lets us get into their Charlie space to cover the Stevenson Expy, especially since it's now undergoing massive reconstruction. After getting clearance from MDW ATC, we flew inbound on the Steve and were told to be careful of wake turbulence from an ATA B-727 departing RWY 31C. Despite an attempt by the pilot to avoid the turbulence, we hit it pretty hard. Thankfully I was wearing a padded headset, because as my head hit the ceiling, the ceiling cracked. The force was great enough to lift my radio pack (about 20 pounds) from the floor of the plane onto the rear seat. Of course, it could have been much worse because some who have hit wake turbulence weren't so lucky.
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Wed Jul 12, 2000 2:59 am

On a USAir Shuttle 727-200 from DCA to LGA about six years ago.

We were just pushing from the gate and had moved a few inches when all of the sudden, we heard a loud thud and the plane abruptly stopped. It seems the pilot forgot to raise the rear airstairs and it got schrunched. Had to switch planes and were delayed for an hour.
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Fri Jul 14, 2000 7:02 am

Resurrecting an old thread: Here it goes...

I was flying with my family to LGW from EWR on a CO747 that still had PeoplExpress colors but Continental titles (1987). Seats were first class on the main deck in the forward section. The plane was already delayed due to thunderstorms and rain, and then my parents said it was raining on their heads, and thought the plane had a leak. The mechanics came aboard, took the ceiling apart and saw an A/C leak and thought it was non-critical and would stop after take off. My parents were moved back to the back of the plane for takeoff, and then were allowed to move back when the plane reached cruising altitude.
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RE: Your Strangest Airline Experience

Fri Jul 14, 2000 10:05 am

Once in a Cessna 152 my door blew open.. very windy day i leaned out and slamed it closed..  



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