Topic Author
Posts: 4971
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

Scariest Flying Experience

Sun May 02, 1999 11:10 am

What is you're scariest flying experience? I really haven't had anything serious, just been on planes that had leaky hydraulics.
Philly Phlyer
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 23, 1999 12:05 pm

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Sun May 02, 1999 11:19 pm

This happened to me five years ago.

We had been in a holding pattern for two hours waiting for a severe storm to clear the east coast. It had DCA, BWI, PHL, EWR, JFK, LGA and BOS closed. Finally, they starting bringing the planes into PHL. We were making a "hot" approach and landing in a SEVERE thunderstorm that had the cabin stone quiet. The plane was violently shaking up and down and sideways like a broken carnival ride. In twenty years of flying, this was the roughests approach I had ever been on. I was taking it in stride until I noticed the mascara running down the face of the flight attendant in the jump seat in front of first class. She was crying!!!!!

When we landed, the passenger broke out into applause.
Posts: 2144
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:02 am

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 12:40 am

Mine was on a Southwest 737-3H4 N347SW on 7/21/91. We were flying from Las Vegas to Albuquerque. As we were approaching ABQ at night there were thunderstorms in the area. We were on our final approach when the runway lights suddenly went out. We did a missed approach. The captain announced that he didn't know when we would be able to land, so we would circle in a holding pattern for awhile. I was worried because of the storm we were flying through and the high mountains just east of the airport. I couldn't see anything except the lightning that was lighting up the clouds we were in. Then the captain said that we didn't have enough fuel to hold much longer, so he was going to try to find an alternate airport where we could land and refuel. After a few more circles, he announced that we would fly to Lubbock, Texas, to refuel. After we returned to cruising altitude, it was announced that flying time to Lubbock would be an hour and something. I was thinking that if we were low on fuel, could we fly that long? And what if we got to Lubbock and they were closed for some reason? Well, we made it to Lubbock okay, and by the time we had refueled, the captain announced that Albuquerque was now open, so we took off immediately and landed safely at ABQ and hour or so later. That was the only flight where I was really uneasy. I do commend the captain for keeping us constantly updated. If he hadn't reassured us, it would have been much worse.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 2:23 am

I have had nothing serious but my scarious is kinda scary. I was on an America West 737-200 bound for phx. As we were approaching the plane was is SEVERE turbulace [nothing happend really] and we were moving up and down. Thats all!
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:05 am

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 3:14 am

My scariest experience happened two weeks ago when retourning from Newark to Greenville on Continental Express ERJ-145 flight 4089 (ship #950). The runway at GSP is being lengthened to 11,000ft and there are always NOTAMS up about changing construction and procedures. Well they screwed up the NOTAM that night + it was the first time this particular crew had flown to GSP. I was sitting in seat 13A which is a window/aisle all by itself and is over the flap area. We were landing on rwy. 21 which means that at the far end of the runway was the construction area (2,000ft extension). We were too fast on approach and floated about 10 feet over the runway for approx. 4,500ft. When we finally touched Mother Earth we only had 1,800ft until we rammed into sandbags and construction equipment. The crew slammed on the brakes and thrust reversers. Smoke was billowing up from the sides of the plane because the brakes and tires were so hot. We stopped, and I'm serious, 2 feet from a huge pile of sandbags. As we back taxiid we actually knocked over some cones. The flight attendent was a new hire on her IOE's and she was visually shaken by the incident. But I was extremely impressed by her professionalism. It was really strange because of the 35 people on the flight myself and the flight attendant seemed to be the only ones in the cabin who knew what happened.
Anyway, it was a good recovery by the crew. It went onto the ramp after the flight to look at the plane and it was fine...both tires and brakes. Its amazing what these planes can go through.


Work Hard. Fly Right.

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 3:38 am

Two scary flights I have worked:

#1- I was one of 10 Flight Attendants on a United Airlines flight from SFO to CDG. Everything seemed normal with the aircraft, and we taxied out to our holding point for takeoff. We started our roll, and not five seconds after we had taken off, there was a REALLY loud bang from the left side of the aircraft. The captain called back over the phone, and asked Pauline, our Cheif Purser to go and see if we still had two engines on the plane. We did, infact have both still on, however engine #1 wasn't working. The captain said that we were immediately returning to SFO, but we didn't have enough time to dump the fuel that we'd need for our ten hour flight, so we came in WAY over weight. We landed, and then the firetrucks came and started to foam our brakes, because they were red hot and could catch fire at any minute.

#2- I was working a flight on a DC-10 from LAX to ORD when we got word that someone had called in a bomb threat for our flight. We returned to LAX, where we taxied out to remote. Everyone deplaned, and we couldn't take anything with us. We stood on the tarmac, and watched as the FBI with their bomb-sniffing dogs go aboard and check the aircraft out.

Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:39 pm

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 5:15 am

Mine would have to be on a Varig 737-300 from Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte, the flight attendts were just starting their service when there was a sudden BOOM heard......I immediatly looked at the engine, but everything was ok......but the stewardess' face was hilarious, she was very, very scared but of course trying not to show it......she also leaned over while serving a passenger to look at the engine.
Posts: 609
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 10:07 am

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 6:06 am

The scariest flight I ever had was on a charter with Champion Air on a 727-200. We were coming in for landing at DTW and on final the plane began to roll severely left and right, we were very close to the ground (100 ft). I looked over my shoulder and saw fire on the wing; having used 727's before I know about the APU Torching over the wing. This was not normal APU torching, there were sparks. The plane had just touched-down and the passengers began screaming FIRE!! Everyone panicked, the F/A's microphone was dead, (if had been before we took off, no one heard the safety briefing.) The pilot got the plane landed and then said it was "normal procedure". We got off the pland as quickly as we could, there were fire trucks all around the aircraft. I wrote the airline a letter and they had the gall to tell me that it didn't happen. Anyway that was the scariest flight I ever had.

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 7:01 am

Great stories. Three from me. The first was several years ago flying Aerolineas Argentinas from BA to Santiago, Chile. We took off in a heavy thunderstorm. About 1 minute into the flight and still under full takeoff power, the plane hit the worst pocket I've ever been through. It seemed to last for at least 7-8 seconds which is damn long. I swear I could literally see the ground coming up. The woman next to me put her nails into my arm so hard she broke my skin. Just as the screaming started throughout the plane, we passed through. The sudden lift was tremendous after that horrible sinking feeling. I can't recall the aircraft (737?) but no word from the pilot.

The second was a UA 767 approach into Santiago from Miami. Normally this is one of the most beautiful approaches in the world-waking up to a sunrise coming over the snow-capped Andes on the left. But on this occasion, the fog was pea soup thick and the pax were getting very nervous about the landing. The Captain came on about a minute from touchdown to reassure everyone that this was not dangerous and that the instruments would handle everything. Again in a window seat, I saw the runway literally seconds before touchdown. I didn't eat breakfast that day.

The third was a Pakistan A300 flight from JFK to AMS. This was a poor man's Euro vacation and a RT flight in July for about $350! As the jet taxied for takeoff, the FA said something in Urdu(sp?) and everyone fell silent. The movie screens came down and showed a hand-held video clip of PIA's 747 taking off from Karachi. The camerman is standing at the edge of the runway as the jumbo rolls by at full thrust. As it passes it blows the cameraman backwards and the camera jerks violently around until the guy finds the jumbo a few seconds later now airborne. All this while the Pakistani pax are praying out loud to Allah. My fellow western pax and I were very uncomfortable. I thought man, I hope these guys are relying on more than just prayers to get us to Amsterdam. The flight passed without incident, but I was scared shitless the whole way. I'm flying to Madrid this July to run the bulls in Pamplona. And this time I'm paying $1000 RT for peace of mind. Jinx!
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:23 am

RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Mon May 03, 1999 8:35 am

Hmmmm......let's see.

The scariest was when me and my brother had a complete engine failure on a Cessna 182. We were flyingfrom Margarita island to Curacao, in the caribbean sea. Halfway through we saw that oil pressure was dropping....FAST. We were north of Caracas about 40 miles, so we turned back. If it weren't for the 30 knot headwinds that day, we would have made it. We ditched about 4 miles short of Maiquetia Internat'l airport.

Of course there are many others. There's this Arrow I fly. I have about 300 hours on it and have been everywhere with it. From Surinam, all the way to San Francisco, CA. I flew that plane to and fro the US about 3 times. It's stationed in Curacao. I've experiened severe engine roughness, severe icing and turbulence (in the Mojave desert) and one time when we flew into Georgia.
It was me and a friend on a cross country from Melbourne and had a lot of headwind. We saw that there was a huge overcast coming up, so we started looking for fields below us still in the clear. We pushed on and at our descent point we heard that airliners had to hold because Atlanta was closed.
We asked and they said that DeKalb was still open so in we went.
It was our first time to this airport, it was 25 F and twilight, so it was IMC.
ATC also told us to keep the speed up further adding to the uncertainty and confusion of landing at a new airport. All planes were coming from the east and turing to land on runway 2L. We had the same approach, but was cleared for runway 34!!!!
I saw huge lights heading our direction and double checked the airport diagram quickly just in time to see we were heading for the wrong runway. So I took over controls threw down flaps and gear and made a steep turn just in time to avoid a Citation landing on 02L. That was exiting to say the least.!!!!
Oh by the way, we had only 50 minutes fuel upon landing !!!!

As for the Dash8.....nothing out of the ordinary.


RE: Scariest Flying Experience

Tue May 04, 1999 10:11 am

I think my scariest experience would be flying from MCO to GSO on an AirTran 737-200, two summers ago. They were trying to dodge the thunderstorms, but we ended up getting stuck in a large thunderhead for like 5 mintues. IT SEEMED TO LAST FOREVER. The plane was shaking left to right, up and down. But in the end everything was fine.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos