Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Fri Dec 22, 2000 7:26 am

Hi everybody!

Do you have any scariest moment on the plane, I do!
last year, I was traveling from NRT-JFK on a NW 747-200, when the plane startup the engine 4, I saw a big fireball coming out from a the engine!  of course, that fireball kept us on ground for 3 hours!

Share with us!
Merry Christmas everyone!
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Fri Dec 22, 2000 11:09 am

Well, I didn't have a fireball but... On 26 September 2000, I was on AA2738, OAK-LAX. We were on final approach to LAX 24R (I could see the South Complex) when we entered heavy fog. I couldn't see anything, including the runway! Suddenly, before I could say anything, we hit the runway...hard! It was by far, the roughest landing I've ever experienced. I could barely see the runway on touchdown...and I'm sure the pilots experienced the same thing. As we were taxiing off the runway, the pilot made an announcement, an apology for the rough landing.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Fri Dec 22, 2000 2:06 pm

Mine wasnt that scary. I just thought my head was going to pop open. We were descending into SJC and i had a cold, which just clogged my nose. So gradually the pressure inside my head built up, and by the tim ewe got to 5000 feet i was nearly crying (and I am 15, and almost never cry). It was just plain torture. The left side of my face swelled with blood which was under high pressure. the left side of my mouth felt like shit. All of my teeth on the left side of my mouth felt like they were being pulled on, continusly for about 20 minutes. In teh end, 3 of my teeth were beedign until the second when we touched down when the pressure was the same as the ground and it started going away. Although i still have no feeling in those three teeth. It was scary. All i could think about was getting out of this long metal cage in the air. This was on my favorite jet- the Airbus A319. on the way back nothing like this happened although it was also an A319.

Chicago Illinois
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 6:41 am

My god! TWA902fly, I think you should take care yourself, by the way, I do got cold everytime when I travel on a plane, don't know why! 

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Tue Dec 26, 2000 5:46 am

I was on a DA-50 test ride and a bird nailed our right wing on approach into PHL.
Another time the gear in a seneca wouldnt retract, and the circuit breaker kept popping...all gear lights went out so i pumped the gear for like 20mins because we werent sure if the gear was locked down...luckily it was.
Indianapolis, IN
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Wed Dec 27, 2000 1:49 pm

When I'm on a plane I also come off with a cold. It happens usually when someone comes onboard with a cold, sneezes or coughs and the air conditionaer usually circualtes it around.

OK to the scary part:
I was on an America West flight JFK-PHX in August. I live in NY and didn't know that the monsoon months were there. At that time, there is some weather phenomenon going on everyday. So my plane just happened to catch a small microburst. After flying over severe thunderstorms we broke the clouds and decended into Phoenix. All of the sudden, the A319 started basically swaying and turning into PHX at the same time. I myself was calm outside even though It scared the s**t outta me on the inside and I started brace positions even though it wasn't necsessary. Finally we landed and taxied to T4.

The next was on a Tower Air 747-100 JFK-MIA. The whole flight was a disaster. It was 1995. We boarded the plane after a 2 1/2 hour delay due to problems with the other 747 they had waiting for us. We took off and as soon as we lifted off, they did a right turn. The service was incredibly terrible. As I was #3 on line for the lavatory, the captain did a really steep left turn without turning on the seatbelt sign. I slammed against the bulkhead and banged my head. I was 9 years old and cursing on and on. The captain later apoligized saying that he wanted to avoid the weather (Of course it was clear the whole time). We landed in Miami and may I add that it was the HARDEST landing I've experienced in my life. By then I was soooooo tired and it was in fact 2:30AM I fell asleep in the rental car.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Wed Dec 27, 2000 2:23 pm

arriving in LGA on a Delta 738 on expressway visual to runway 31...wasn't really scary at all..quite fun...but unusual to see seagulls flying alongside (althought slower than the 738!) and above you...  i love that turn onto finals around shea stadium! the landing was hard though...very hard...we dropped the last 10ft/3m down to the runway.

another scary moment was departing SEA in august '99. took off from 34R in a UAL 777 bound for ORD...climbing out (and i assume over BFI) a COA 737 flew just a few hundred feet above and directly over us...just a scary moment, as we were still climbing and the 737 was maintaining altitude...not sure if that would've set of the TCAS in the cockpit or not..

my scary moments in the air...luckily there haven't been that much of them...there should be another post about "magnificent experiences in the air"..i could have a few more to post on that topic.. 

"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Dec 31, 2000 10:46 am

Taking a piss while in turbulence! on a LOT 767-300ER flight from ORD-WAW!
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Dec 31, 2000 8:41 pm

Just remember the pictures and videos of AF4590...

RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Wed Jan 17, 2001 7:00 am

My scariest flight-exp.wasn't perhaps that spectacular but -WOW!! - whatta knock of adrenaline I got when landing in MIA arriving from Lon/Heathrow that 11th of May back in 1993 !!!I was on a trip to Florida together with my brother and a pal.The BA 747-136 hit the runway pretty hard when touch-down nearly the same way fighters do when landing on a/c carriers .Even the Oxygen masks came down on some places due to the shock and that's where I got the most frightened .
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Thu Jan 18, 2001 12:44 pm

I wouldn't consider mine that scary, but you should of heard the people scream when we landed. It was an AA 738, and that landed packed a punch. We must have dropped right out of the sky onto the runway. Anyways, people screamed and we bounced a couple times, but it wasn't extremely bad. It's kind of funny to think that my smoothest landing was on a DL L1011.

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Thu Jan 18, 2001 4:48 pm

Well, Mine doesn't sound as scary... But it could have been a disaster.

One evening in late 1997, while flying on AA DC-10, HNL-LAX. Approaching the runway at LAX, well over the threshhold and with about 6-12 seconds to touch down (I swear we were so close to the ground) when our DC-10's engines started roaring at max. power and our plane quickly regained altitude and took off over the pacific ocean.

It turns out that a plane started crossing our passway right as our DC-10's wheels were getting ready to touch the ground. This happened while it was already dark and luckily our pilot saw and realised that the plane wouldn't move out of the way fast enough by the time we reached that point - so he quick thinkingly decided to abort the landing and go around.

Can you imagine what would have happened if our pilot wouldn't have acted that quickly? I probably wouldn't be here telling you this story. For that and other reasons I don't take life for granted and try to be a good citizen as well as appreciating life as much as possible and staying away from negative energy. Because one day you're here and another day you may not...

American Airlines does a good job in training their pilots. I must say!

Best regards,
Apollo Diaz

Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Thu Jan 18, 2001 9:55 pm

Probably the scariest thing that happened to me, its not much, I cant rememeber which trip It was, but it was either a BA 744 or an Ansett A320. I was only young, and didnt know anything about planes then, and got the fright of my life when the spoliers on the wing suddenly popped up, shortly after landing.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon Jan 22, 2001 8:20 am

It was spring '95 or '96 when our flight from Denver encountered huge thunderstorms around DFW(Dallas is known for it's unpredictable and dangerous spring weather) and we had to circle Witchita Falls for about an hour and our plane was running out of fuel and then our pilot makes a dangerous nose wheel landing at DFW. We then had to wait for about 30 minutes on the the taxiway because we couldn't taxi, the plus is that I got in a visit to the cockpit! If it weren't for that, we would have made an emergency landing in Whichita Falls TX(if they are capable of handling an MD-80...) It was scary at the time and I remember looking out the window at grey and black clouds covering the area for miles and miles and miles, I was freaked. But, I am here and alive today, and I got in a visit to the cockpit too!
I will second that Latinplane, AA does an extremely good job at training it's pilots. I will always know AA for their incredible pilots(not to mention everything else about the airline is incredible)
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...

RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon Jan 22, 2001 11:46 am

TWA902fly, I had the exact experience a few years ago on (I think) a Delta flight from SLC-SEA. It was the worst 20 minutes of my life.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon Jan 22, 2001 12:02 pm

PBI to LGA on a TWA L1011, it was the early '90s. We hit so hard that parts of the ceiling fell down.

RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sat Jan 27, 2001 11:19 am

I was taking off from Dusseldorf a few years ago in a BA 737, en route to Manchester. We accelerated down the runway and had rotated. Just before we left the ground there was a loud bang, the port engine tone deepened and an unpleasant burning smell filled the cabin. I was opposite a flight attendant and can remember how he was studying his fingernails very intently. The aircraft climbed away and continued in a completely straight line until, after a while, the engines were throttled so far back you could only hear the air whistling past the fuselage and the plane went into a long banking turn. The intercom came on 'senior member of cabin crew to the flight deck please' - and shortly after the captain explained that a bird went into the engine. We landed on a seldom used runway (I could see families at barbecue staring up in astonishement), and were chased by fire engines the whole way until the plane stopped rolling. When we got off we could see several of the turbine blades bent way out of shape - apparently it was a heron we hit.

The crew were very professional the whole time. Poor marks to BA for their treatment of us afterwards, though. We were kept on the plane at the gate for more than 2 hours, so long that we had no chance to warn the people meeting us at the airport that we would be late. When we finally got let off, they were very reluctant to let us use a phone. I know the disruption wasn't their fault, but neither was it ours and they seemed to make it as difficult for us as possible.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sat Jan 27, 2001 11:34 pm

I have had quite a few scary experiences (I get scared very easily in planes yet I love them so). Turbulence scares the living daylights out of me if it is really bad, over christmas break I was flying JAX-IAH on a Continental 737-300, well when they were just starting breakfast service we hit some bad turbulence, a couple of people spilled their drinks and the f/a handling the first class cabin came and picked up the trays he had already given out. The turbulence started making me sick after about 10 minutes and then it was over a few minutes later and meal service resumed as normal. The second scariest thing was when I was flying SFO-IAH about a week later on a Continental DC-10-30, well we were flying through alot of clouds and alot of turbulence on approach so I was alittle on edge, then all of a sudden the plane just started dropping and the engines spooled up and gave quite a push (not like takeoff, it felt much more powerful), the whole time I was thinking of the DL L1011 that crashed in DFW. But it all turned out ok.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Jan 28, 2001 4:01 am

Fortunately, most flights I've been on have been mundane and routine in the spooky department yet there are two incidents which stick in my mind:

1. Australian Airlines 737-300 from Sydney to Hobart way back in 1990. Shortly after take-off the engines started making this strange humming noise and the pilot announced that there is a mechanical failure in the flaps so we headed back down to SYD, and half an hour later we were on our way again with a replacement aircraft. I have to admit, the delay was not too bad at all and I got two take offs and landings for the price of one.

2. Garuda Indonesia Airbus A300-600 from Medan to Jakarta in 1997. We were approaching Jakarta after a two and a half hour flight, and just as we were about to touch down, the pilot pulled back up again, made a turn around and in his second attempt got it right. While nothing happened to us, I had a pretty uneasy feeling about that experience, and it seems there was good cause for concern. Just two months later, the exact same flight crashed somewhere in the jungles of Sumatra... funny ole life ain't it?
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Jan 28, 2001 6:12 am

I have not had any extremely frightening moments in the air, probably my most uneasy moment was in 1998 when I was on approach to LHR from ORD on an AA Md11. We had been circling London for what seemed like an eternity, when all of a sudden we banked a little bit and out of my window I saw a British Midland 737 come within 1500 feet of our aircraft. It was at a 40-degree angle upwards and about the same for the wings (!), so it was probably taking evasive action to avoid us. I remember hearing a few people saying: "Now that was TOO close."!!!

Aaron G.

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Jan 28, 2001 7:23 am

I would say it would have to be a return from FLL to PHL on a US 734 EOW in complete overcast, PHL was completely socked in, and I no idea when we were going to land when suddenly: BAM! We landed-Scared the heck outta me.

In terms of "stupid scary", we made a hard landing into PHL and the forward lavatory door opened and slammed into the cockpit doors, made a really loud sound, it was surprising, and woke up most of the plane (I think it was a 12:00 AM landing)

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Jan 28, 2001 11:55 am

Probably what TWA902fly had experienced. But I had the pleasure of having to deal with a cold and flying all the way from Wichita, Kansas to Okinawa, Japan!!!
Also, on that same trip, I flew from Okinawa to Miyakojima and we had some really bad turbulence. It felt like we were being tossed around for thirty minutes.

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon Jan 29, 2001 11:37 am

When I was lil around 2 years old my family took a trip to FLL.We were on a NW B757 and we encountered severe turbulance..and it turns out we were flying into hurricane Keith and the funny thing is my dads name is Keith hehe

* Kevin
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:45 am

A very abrupt aborted take-off on Air Canada #929 FLL-YUL (A320-211) a few years back. Turns out the cargo pallets were not secured and the acceleration of the aircraft caused a weight imbalance. We would probably have pitched up and stalled if the pilot contiued with the take-off.

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Tue Jan 30, 2001 12:28 pm

My 3 scariest moments are:

1. Qantas 747SP attempting to land at Wellington airport in New Zealand 1979. This was the innaugral Qantas 747SP flight. There was very bad weather and low visibility. It was about midnight. The pilot made three aborted attempts to land before deciding to fly to Auckland to stay for the night. The next day we flew down and the landing was perfect, although short given the very short lenght of the runway (I belive the biggest they operate into Wellington now is 763).

2. Again Qantas 747SP departing Wellington 1982. Very bad and overcast day. Flight had already been delayed 3 hours due to engine or airconditioning troubles (I cannot recall which now). Anyway, we lined up at the end of the runway and proceeded to take off. As soon as we took off we hit turbulence with the plane dropping badly. I thought we were going to end up in Wellington Harbour which starts right after the runway finishes. We had the worst turbulence I have ever experienced for about 15 minutes before we broke through the clouds. Everyone on the flight was scared with a couple of people sick.

3. This is not scary but peculiar. Ansett A320 from Sydney to Perth last year. We took off and throttled slightly back as planes do departing Sydney due to noise restrictions. However, after a while the pilot throttled completely back so that all you could hear was the wind passing the plane. The plane levelled out and felt as if it was descending. There were concerned looks around the cabin as well as the flight attendants. After about 5 minutes we throttled back up again. This was strange - could it be that another aircraft had encroached on our flight plan?

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Tue Jan 30, 2001 12:46 pm

Delta767-300Er dont remember registration#...flight was coming in to JFK from ATH. Weather was perfect with very light winds and sun all over.....The pilots landing was very poor. During the desent down to Jfk, the plane was droping like a rock then all the sudden stopp and then dropp again and then stop until we touched down somewhat hard....The plane was stoping after the sharp desent so much that i coul'nt pick up my head almost and my self was pussing really bad towards the seat and then while desending down again fast i felt my self going towards up alott....Never happened to me in any other airline..and the pilot seemed very expierenced because he looked pretty old.....
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Thu Feb 01, 2001 2:29 am

I fly Lufthansa every year, on the LAX-->FRA flight. I have to say that the pilots are very very well trained. Every flight has been superb. The landings are the smoothest ever.
Heres the scary part:
It was January, 1999 I think it was. Our Lufthansa 747-400 was on approach to the runway. Everything was going smooth, no bumps or sways. I could see LAX in the distance, and some planes. Then, out of nowhere, the engines roared up to MAX, and the plane climbed up really steeply. I looked out the window, and I saw a Cessna 172 JUST under us, probably a few meters at most. If the Pilots didn't react quickly, or he wasn't alert, we would have definitely hit that plane, head on. I have to hand it to the Captain for his experience and alertness. [By the way, LAX is one of the most dangerous airports to fly in and out of--Most close calls.] I myself am a Cessna 152-172 training pilot, and I am always told to look out the window, and look before you turn, and be cautious, because a pilots wrecklessness can cost the lives of many people.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Feb 04, 2001 6:55 am

My experience isn't as scary, but scary enough for me. I was flying a L1011 from MCO to ATL. When we landed at ATL, the pilot came in too fast, so we bouced about 4 times. I thought the plane crashed or something. After the fast landing, the pilot hit the brakes really hard! We got off at the last exit on the runway. When we got to the gate, this person in front of me opended a baggage bin, and some baggage fell out. I was glad to get off of that plane.

KLM747 Big grin
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Feb 04, 2001 10:01 am

Mine was when me and my folks were on a trip back from KLAX-EGLL on a BAA 747-436 (British Asia Airways - Sub of BA) and we were on our climb out of LAX, we had just finished out turn towards North-Easten Canada when we hit a hard chane in temprature, i later found out we had gone from +68F - +8F, We got some kick ass turbulance that made the wings look like they were flapping just to stay airbourne! i'm surprised the engines didn't fall off! There were some minor injuries like cuts, bruises ect. Pretty scary.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon Feb 05, 2001 3:38 am

My scariest moment in an AC was in December 94. Collegues and I chartered together a B757-200 from
Air Holland for a flight from Amsterdam to Munich and back the same day. We flew early in the morning and came back around 20H00 in the evening.
On the way back to Amsterdam the captain told us that there is very bad weather above Amsterdam and that it would be a very rough landing. When we approached Schiphol we flew into very gusty winds
and we where shaked more than sitting in a rollercoaster!!! The lights where dimmed and nobody was talking not even the FA's. Everybody was scared. I could never believe that an AC could
make so much strange noises in the air. It felt like that the AC will broke in peaces!!! After 2 missed approached we finaly landed safely at Schiphol and I thank God and the captain that I am
still alive  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Tue Feb 06, 2001 9:49 pm

Not so scary, but the night before to board on a TWA from LAX to JFK, I dream about a disaster, because at the last moment they would change aircraft...
The morning after, at the desk of TWA they said the Aircraft will be another, 747 of Tower Air! Remembering my dream, I travel with fear until the landing in JFK.
Really it was a good flight, but the fear is fear.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 6:07 am

Mine happened in atlanta...I was on a 767-200. Well the aircraft was next on the taxi way to take off ...most likely holding short. The pilot powered up the engines and began to roll torwards the runway we were right at the edge when the Brakes were applied so hard that everyone in the cabin was pushed for and then plopped back in their seat...everyone kind of looked arround....Then less than 5 seconds later a DC-10 landed short ....practically in front of us. I felt the blood just drain from my face. One of the pilots had made a mistake somewhere because atlanta uses different runways for takeoffs and landing. No mention was made over the intercom. Then the plane taxied onto 26R and we were on our way.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 8:37 am

National Airlines "Sun King" DC-10s late 70s MIA to JFK.
This was about a year after the American disaster in Chicago so it was still in everyone's mind. We flew into one of those horrific South Florida thunderstorms and we hit severe turbulence, thigs were thrown about, the pilot was screaming on the intercom for people to bucke up. Never had a pilot scream before (or since)

Early 80's Eastern Shuttle LGA DCA we flew into rough weather landing in DC (Summer thunderstorms) and we had one drop where *everyone* screamed and the woman next to me took out a rosary and started to pray.

BTW, I noticed that I have had fewer incidents of bad turbulence. Is it luck, more stringent rules, or is modern radar better able to dodge the worst cells?

I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon Feb 12, 2001 8:21 am

I haven't had any really scary moments in the air yet (being 14, and having flown more than most everyone I know, it kind of surprises me), but my parents have told me some of theirs. HEre they are.

1. My dad was on a USAir Express flight (back when they were USAir) in what I believe was a Shorts aircraft from his description of it. It was in the Carolina's I believe. They were flying relatively calmly until they got near a thunderstorm. He told me the plane was bumping so much he thought the wings were going to come off. The pilot was talking to a woman who was going a little crazy because of the turbulence.

2. My dad was flying a Boeing 737-200 right over the engine. When the plane landed and the pilot reversed the engines he got a little bit scared because he didn't know the engines were supposed to do that. I guess he's glad his son is a plane fanatic sometimes  Smile.

3. When we lived in Columbus, Ohio, my mother and brother (who was at the time only a baby) were flying back home from Wichita, Kansas Mid Continenet Airport. The aircraft had just taken off from the airport when the pilot throttled back and turned the plane around and landed. Apparently they had experienced an engine failure either on takeoff or climbout.

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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sat Feb 17, 2001 7:03 am

Interesting to read other's experiences, I would have thought there'd be more hair-raising stories. I suppose that's a testament to the reliability and safety of most airlines.

I recall a couple of flights that were alarming, although nothing dangerous.

1) 1994 - flying Korean Air from Seoul to Vancouver (747-200) we crossed the jetstream over northern B.C. This created "clear air turbulence", somewhat alarming because there was really nothing visible to attribute the pitching and bumping to. This caused the cancellation of the meal service and the flight attendants strapped in as well - not a reassuring sign!

2) 1997 - Asiana Airlines - Nagoya to Seoul (767). I was living in Japan at the time and had watched the movement of typhoon #9 up from the PIs towards Japan/ROK on television. It was late August and if anyone has lived in North East Asia, then they will relate to the kind of day that heralds a typhoon arriving. When we arrived at the airport for our departure (12:30 pm), the sky was not really overcast but was hazy. The air was saturated with moisture, the temperature in the low 30s (celsius) and the atmosphere seemed "heavy". About 40 minutes into the flight, over southern ROK, looking out the left side of the plane, all I could see was great black clouds while on the right, there was still bright, blue sky. A brief sandwich service had been served and many passengers were moving about the cabin. The pilot suddenly came on the intercom and said something in rapid, guttural Korean. Not speaking Korean, I have no clue what he said but it must have been something like hang on because the plane began to plunge downwards right after the announcement. That was the only flight I've been on where turbulence really generated a lot of screaming and crying and the rest of the trip into Kimpo was extremely rough. The pilot subsequently apologized in broken English for the bumps. I suspect they were rather constrained on their flight path by ATC routings but I'll never forget the image of the child sitting in front of me floating up from his seat and hitting the overhead bin at the first bump.

That's about it. With good luck, it'll never get worse that that!
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Wed Feb 21, 2001 1:19 am

I was on a Continental 737-500 from IAH to MKE, and at the time we were just to the southwest of Chicago. We were about to be diverted to CLE as there was a severe line of thunderstorms between us and the airport (MKE).

I have to tell you that before we even boarded the flight, the gate agent asked us in a joking manner, “OK, so who REALLY wants to go to Milwaukee tonight??” He informed us that the winds were gusting to 50 miles per hour and that the temperature had dropped from 80 to 50 degrees in the last hour and that the forecast was for MORE thunderstorms. To be perfectly honest with you, I almost handed my boarding pass back to the agent and told him that I would just go the next week. But for some strange reason, I did not. (Read on to see how this one even was to change my life!)

About 95 minutes into the flight, the pilot began to speak on the intercom and told everyone to buckle up "tight" and try to relax as the flight was about to get a little rough. The flight attendants secured the cabin and sat down as well, and reiterated that getting up from “your seat could be very detrimental to your safety”. At this point, I was cursing myself for getting on the plane.

The pilot did say that he was going to take us up over Grand Rapids and then around the back-side of the storm so that we could attempt to land at MKE, avoiding what he claimed was the worst part of the storm. Well, that is exactly what we did, but not before I got the scare of my life. I'm in seat 1A and we are in the middle of the storm somewhere over Lake Michigan.

Engines revving up, then down, and lightning so close to the plane you could hear the thunder the very second you saw the flash. The plane would drop suddenly (and we’re not talking a little drop, we’re talking (for those of you who know your roller coasters here) TEXAS CYCLONE drops. Then we’d bank a bit and then shudder, repeating this cycle at least a half a dozen times. This lasted for about the longest 15 minutes of my life and then I hear the flaps extend and the landing gear drop, but I still see nothing below the clouds. The captain then announces that we're five minutes from landing and that we were in fact going to make MKE.

I was thankful we made it as I met my beautiful fiancée on this trip. We are going to be married in OCT. 2002, and I guess I need to thank the person that is responsible for allowing us to fly through that mess. The absolute living hell I went through was worth it only because of who I met when I was there! So I guess it is a good thing that I did get on that plane after I’d basically made up my mind that I’d be crazy for getting on that plane.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Thu Feb 22, 2001 6:37 am

About a year ago I was bound for EWR from IAH on a Continental 757. Just as we were about to take off the pilot slammed on the breaks hard enought that we blew a tire. He came on the radio and said that they had just lost all gauges in the cockpit and it was "a good thing it happened before we got in the air". As all flight were full the rest of the day, we ended up leaving on the same plane five hours later after work in the cockpit, on the brakes, and after tire replacement.

A guy I worked with has the all time scariest experience as he survived USair 1493 at LAX.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Thu Mar 01, 2001 2:05 pm

Two years ago I was on a Continental flight from MIA to EWR. Our approach to EWR was rather bumpy, but being a frequent flier it didn't even faze me at that time. Well, we were about 100 - 200 feet off the ground on final approach to 22R when the plane hit some rough air and rolled almost 90 degrees to the right. Being seated in a window seat I knew things were serious when I saw the stripes on the runway passing by the side of the plane, instead of under it. Amazingly the captain kept cool, applied power, and pulled the plane up and around over Harrison and the various freight depos along the train lines before landing on the commuter runway at the north end of the field. The state of shock everyone was in turned to applause as the plane began to turn off the runway and onto the taxiway.
Looking back I really don't know how close to disaster we were, all I remember was seeing the runway out of my window and faintly hearing several deep gasps from surrounding passengers. Amazingly, on the way home I realized how safe flying actually is when I realized that I was going to get on another plane in two days, and that trip would be just as unlikely as this one to actually end in some kind of trajedy.
SkyTeam: The alliance for third rate airlines finally getting their act together!
GunFighter 6
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Thu Mar 01, 2001 9:51 pm

Very kewl to hear all these experiences.

mine isn;t that scary but it sure demonstrates the skills of today's pilots.

we where inbound for DFW in a AA super 80.
as we approached DFW we entered a heavy storm front the pilot explained on the PA system that there was no way of avoiding this storm front. The last moments of the landing where so spectaculair that in no way i can describe it. as we entered the clouds the visability was zero, the plane was shaking like nothing I had experienced before. yet moments before landing the plane banked very hard to the right, seconds later we hit the ground. the entire time we could see nothing else than clouds and fog.
wonderfull landing,

a real adrenanline rush.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Fri Mar 02, 2001 4:30 am

Nothing spectacular, but somehow not encouraging to fly were the following events to me:

1. In the early 90s we were sitting in a ATA L-1011 Tristar that was all but in perfect condition. We were sitting two hours somewhere on the airfield before the plane could start. The pilot was telling something about fog and heavy traffic, I could see the real reason: two mechanics needed more than one hour to close a door. The flight was awful, rattling, loose parts etc. and at the end we almost slipped of the runway landing on the Azores (stormy islands in the middle of the Atlantic).

2. A few years ago after a flight to America in A300 that had minor engine problems before the start I was waiting for the return flight, when suddenly I saw other tourists coming out of the gate with somewhat stressed looks. Then I saw some people that stayed in the same Hotel than us among them that were supposed to be halfway to Europe already. I asked some of them and they told us, that the flight they took (on a brandnew BA 777) had to return because of engine failure over the Ocean. Then I was reminded of my flight before and after I entered our LH flight to Duesseldorf I had to take a strong drink first.
Not spectacular, but one reason why I will always use a 4-engined plane over the Ocean in future!
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun May 08, 2005 3:06 am

Ive had excellent commerical flights, except for one landing in sydney from chch thunderstorm and 44 degrees made for a twisting turbulant flight, all in fun though Smile. When i went for my first flight lesson when i was 13 (3 years ago) the door on the cessna was dodgy and we done a couple bank turns and the instructor said "better hold onto the door mate, cant have you falling out" put the shits up me. Then went in same plane 2 months later and was told that it had been fixed, much to my relief.

Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun May 08, 2005 4:12 am

I wouldn' t really call it scarry because I was prepared for it. I was onboard an AA 757 in seat 1A from SJC-JFK. Instead of doing the normal arrival we landed over the Atlantic. We had turbulence for a good 20 minutes. But it was soo awsome to see the Atlantic Ocean on December 14th 2003. The landing was cool just as the nightfall began to loom over NYC.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun May 08, 2005 4:52 am

About the colds, i've experienced that too. Landing in Chicago, absolutely horrible I know the pain! But I read somewhere in a book that it has something to do with your eustrashion tubes near your ears being clogged with the pressure changes, which creates head splitting pain. You need to make sure you keep your jaw moving.. by making weird faces in flight, or by chewing gum. Because I did not have gum when we were landing and I've never flown without gum since, I had chronic ear problems when I was younger. Fresh air is circulated through the cabin every 5 minutes or so, so you're not sitting in the same air the whole flight.

My experience happened in December, I was flying from SLC-ANC on Delta. It was gorgeous outside until we started getting near Anchorage, the clouds turned like really dark grey. It started out as a light chop, the seat belt signs came on. Then, the plane all of a sudden sways and slams down hard.. and starts dropping. After that the pilot came on and was like 'FLIGHT ATTENDANTS NEED TO IMMEDIATELY GET TO THEIR SEATS, AND ANYONE WHO IS NOT IN A SEAT NEEDS TO FIND THE NEAREST ONE AND BUCKLE UP'. Then we level off and we hit an extremely severe chop.. I was right behind the wing.. the wing is bouncing up and down and it's starting to freak me out that a wing can bend that far. So the second time, the plane started shuttering and slammed down again... this time bins opened, and the wing tips were vibrating.. people now were cussing, and I was freaked out. So we had like an hour and a half left in the flight and the seatbelt signs were on the rest of the time.

So we started our descent into Anchorage.. and we're flying out over water and the plane is.. slamming down still not as bad but we're steadily dropping.. and the lady behind me is like literally hyperventilating.. and was blaming Delta for putting her through this experience. I was really shaken up I felt really weak when I stood up to get off.

The second time would be after takeoff in a 763 from SLC-CVG last summer, and the plane started dropping after take off, kind of freaky but then again.. it happens lol I'm still here and alive.

KLM | Journeys of Inspiration
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun May 08, 2005 6:51 am

Mine was on a 763 AA flight from ORD-MAN. It was dark and ORD is such a busy airport, one of the buisiest I had seen at that point. Anyway we were taxiing to the end of the runway waiting to depart and I was sat by the window seat and looking out you could see aircraft coming into land on our runway, then we would edge forward while the one ahead took off and so on. I remember watching this one particular aircraft coming in to land and logically thought that once this lands it would be our turn to depart. But we started to pull out onto the runway, and I could see this aircraft getting bigger and bigger and coming in faster and faster and I thought that if we dont pull away quickly that thing will slam right into the back of us. Anyway, needless to say we got off OK. In my mind I was pretty sure it was close but now I just put it down to the fact that traffic at ORD is just really busy.
Equally Cursed and Blessed.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun May 08, 2005 11:05 am

I've had three occasions to be worried:

1. When the vintage a/c I was in had engine failure and we crash-landed in a paddock.

2. When I went up on a test flight in a Cessna 340 with a wealthy doctor who could barely fly.

3. Landing about 100' short of the runway in a Mitsubishi MU-2.

Thinking about it, I was only scared during the first incident I mentioned; all of these incidents actually made me angry.
Monty Python's Flying Circus has nothing to do with aviation, except perhaps for Management personnel.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun May 08, 2005 11:18 am

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to fly.
There was this one time though, in the winter of '99, when I was sure
the plane was going to fall apart. I was coming back from a trip to Atlanta when I was aroung eight,
but I cannot remember the aircraft type or the airline.(I think it was Delta.)
We were taxiing, and I heard this insane noise coming from the
wing. Then we were starting to take off,
and I noticed that something wasn't quite right with the wing. it seemed
that the flaps were somewhat 'crooked.' All through the flight I kept hearing
this dreadful whiney 'Grrrr/Arrrgh' at various points.
Then I heard an annoucement that we had to land, because the flaps
weren't working properly! I tried to stay calm, but when you're eight, things
seem way more worse that they actually are. We all got out safe, and the only bad thing that happened to us was we got delayed for three hours!

Flying high on the Wings of the Great Northwest!
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Sun May 08, 2005 7:33 pm


when my dad tried a crosswind landing on a grass strip in his 182 we no longer had a 182. in short we took the avionics and sold what was left of the plane. the fussolage was broken in three pieces, the wings broke off all the glass shattered and somehow no one was hurt, i guess i owe my life to the design of the 182

seccond scariest time
every time i get on an american airlines md-80 that was ex twa
If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon May 09, 2005 4:28 am

Quoting Platinum (Reply 24):
However, after a while the pilot throttled completely back so that all you could hear was the wind passing the plane. The plane levelled out and felt as if it was descending. There were concerned looks around the cabin as well as the flight attendants. After about 5 minutes we throttled back up again.

I had a similar thing on a flight from Dublin to Leeds-Bradford. When the seat belt signs were turned off I had to let some of that expensive airport lager out, and went to the toilet. A few seconds after closing the door I felt myself get lighter as the aircraft suddenly started losing altitude. It was much more severe than any descent I've ever experienced. After 5 or so seconds I peeked my head out of the door to see one of the cabin crew with a slightly worried expression on his face, rush past me and get on the phone (presumably to the flight deck). After probably another 10 or so seconds we started climbing again. I'm assuming there was traffic up ahead of us.

As I disembarked I asked the cabin crew guy why we lost altitude so quickly just after climbing. He explained somewhat hesitantly that it was just physics, because the aircraft climbs in stages to pressurise (which I was aware of!) and it was perfectly normal. It didn't feel normal compared to other flights I've been on!

That aside the only interesting moments I've had have been landing at my home airport, LBA. It's the highest commercial airport in the UK and normally a little windy! Probably 6 out of my 9 landings there have been...Well...Interesting!

I like rough landings, the kind where you can almost sense the aircraft itself starting to panic. Much more enjoyable than landing at somewhere like LHR where many flights don't even use reverse thrust. How boring is that?!

Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon May 09, 2005 5:56 am

In the decades that I've been flying I've never had anything really scary happen. The closest for me is probably from back in the late 1960's on a TWA 707 taking off from CMH heading to JFK. I was sitting very near the back of the cabin, well behind the wing. Just seconds after we lifted off there was a very loud "BANG", the whole plane shook, and I felt the loss of thrust and climb, as I felt us nose over and I was no longer being pushed back in my seat. We had stopped climbing and it felt like we lost power. I didn't have much time to think about what was happening, because in just 2-3 seconds there was another loud "BANG", the plane shook again, and I was pushed back in my seat again as the nose came back up and we returned to our normal climb angle. It wasn't until we were at cruise altitude that the captain finally came on the PA, saying that we may have noticed a temporary loss of thrust shortly after takeoff. YEAH, WE NOTICED!!! He said it was caused by a malfunction of the water injection system, but everything was normal now, and we'd be landing at JFK in...."

Not really scary, as it all happened so fast there wasn't really time to think about it. I've had no really scary incidents since then.
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
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RE: Scariest Moment On The Plane?

Mon May 09, 2005 12:00 pm

Quoting Modesto2 (Reply 1):
when we entered heavy fog. I couldn't see anything, including the runway! Suddenly, before I could say anything, we hit the runway...hard! It was by far, the roughest landing I've ever experienced. I could barely see the runway on touchdown...and I'm sure the pilots experienced the same thing

And for everyone else with experiances like this the reason the landings are so hard is because the pilot is not landing the plane when visiblity is really poor. The autopilot is doing the landing with help from the ILS. Most airliners have auto land.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)

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