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Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:34 am

Mine Goes Like This...

Coming back from WAW to YYZ i had a connection at AMS. With a 1 day stop over i met a fellow Canadian and we enjoyed all that Amsterdam had to offer. And i mean all... (no, not the red-light district, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Back at the airport and boarding the airplane (747 KLM) I was still slightly....high....(due to the potency of dutch product) and the weather was really hot, humid and very very foggy.

I am a very comfortable flyer, holding a PPL and being a HUGE aviation enthusiast I do nothing but enjoy being a window seat flyer.

So push back is done, we taxi to the runway and we go... and we go.. and go... and go... Now, being the type of educated flyer i know that we must be at the outer reaches of the runway so i start becoming a little bit nervous. Hardly being able to see the edges of the runway due to fog, i believe i am seeing the outer markers of the runway, so the nose Finally lifts and still we are on the ground, I can see the end of the runway coming by the outer markers, and being more paranoid than normal (due to dutch product) i feel a sensation of panic starting to set in. (by the way the flight was packed like an eastern European farmers chicken coup)

So we roll on the main gear for a few seconds then you feel the pilot pulled a little harder and then CRUNCH!!!! A genuine tail-strike, my first and only thank god. Every Woman on the plane screamed and all the men, including myself gripped the armrests hard enough to choke an anaconda. Being at the back of the Jumbo the noise of the tail-strike was screamingly LOUD! And being not quite sound of mind i was even more scared then i ever would have been.

Here is the punch line, it was at least 10 min's before the CPT came on the intercom and said " I apologize for that unpleasant experience, but it happens once in a while and it is nothing to worry about, we are going to continue our way to Toronto and there is nothing to worry about, once again I apologize fore the unpleasant experience"

It was 10 min of thinking that we are going to crash and you could see in every passengers eye that they were thinking the same thing!

Should we have continued on to YYZ??

Thats my story, lets hear some of yours!

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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:59 am were high on pot and your flight had a tailstrike.

No biggie...
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:12 pm

Ever fly US AIRWAYS ?
Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:47 pm

Quoting NASBWI (Reply 2):
Ever fly US AIRWAYS ?

You mean US Scareways?
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:52 pm

one time i was going from bkk to isb and we had some really really bad turbulence
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:56 pm

AA 722 DFW-AUS, September 1992.

A foggy Sunday morning. Came in too low over the freeway at the old Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. We were so low I thought we might take out a car or two. Pilot firewalled the throttles and we roared into our go-around. She really jerked us back in our seats.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:53 pm

flew DEN-DRO on Halloween night of 2004 in a Brasilia. On that particular halloween night, a storm was coming in, and our little brasilia left the gate just as the rain was falling. We didn't de-ice, just booked it straight to the runway and took off. During the roll, the little airplane, packed full of people, was sliding all over the runway and you could really feel the nosewheel/rudder inputs to keep us aligned. We lifted off and for about the first ten minutes the flight was eerily smooth, during climb we hit the snow and you could really see it through every beacon flash...unfortunately that's all you could see.

Imagine just the quiet drone of the Brasilia's twin-turboprops carrying you over the continental divide, thirty or so of your new closest friends in a quiet state of apprehension, the occasional hard lump getting a few yelps from the more nervous fliers, and out the window you see with every flash of strobe only the snow flying by the wingtip. Even though the wing is only twenty feet long, it might as well be a million miles out, which is exactly how you feel at this point in time. Your own little silver tube a million miles from anywhere, braving the elements, come whatever may.

And then we broke out about halfway through the flight and everything else was completely uneventful.
Demand Media fails at life
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:08 pm

Hmm... MD-80 into ABQ that in the turbulence was flexing enough that it would pinch my hand hard between the seatback (at the top) in front of me, and the wall.... then just a bit later open up enough gap to hold my hand horizontal without touching the seat or the wall. Yah I ah... don't fly on MD-80's anymore. I'm sure it was the floor flexing for most of it... but still.

Also flying into ABQ in a storm... the pilot never flared... just flew it into the runway. and I do mean flew it INTO the runway. Nose wheel first, then slammed the main wheels down causing the plane to pogo back into the air. The next attempt to put it onto the runway was a hair smoother in we didn't bounce all the way back in the air....

most WTF?? was landing in SNA and just after we cross the fence the pilot does a go around. Bright sunny day, air smooth as glass. Turns out a Mr Vice president decided at that moment to start preparing to leave. So I got a nice air tour of that area of CA including the blimp hangers, and a near divert to LAX all thanks to bad planning and typical government hurry up and wait procedures.
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:22 pm

Anyone ever landed at BOS approaching from the East on a windy, stormy night? raising, you feel like your going to land in the "habah" (harbor in typical bostonian) Big grin
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:53 pm

I jumpseated FLG-PHX on a DHC-8 a couple of weeks ago. FLG has a relatively short runway, with high altitudes and hot June temps - not fun. Capt was debating using flaps 15 on dept just so we could go with as many people as possible, but eventually figured out a way to do flaps 5 and get everyone aboard. Anyhoo, we are cleared for departure and when we hit about 70 knots, we encountered a thermal (essentially a dust devil without the dust), causing the plane to veer about 20 feet off the centerline. I about had a mild heartattack, but thankfully I was riding with veteran pilots who kept their cool, maintained control of the plane, continued the take off, made it to rotation speed before the end of the runway and took us up safely to the sky. Then what made it worse for me was about 10 minutes into the flight I heard the capt say if we had been using flaps 15 we would've ended up in the trees with that thermal - I damn near fainted at that point.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:27 pm

DL MD11 Smoke in Cabin December 2002.

I was flying AMS-ATL and the cabin filled with Smoke and all the lav smoke detectors went off at once. The F/A's tore off all kinds of lav access panels and got out the fire extinguishers.

We werew thankfully over Eastern PA when this happened and we made an emergency landing into IAD.

Luckily the smoke cleared out, but this wasn't too long after the Swiss Air crash and everyone was very quiet the whole time.

It's a surreal feeling but there is nothing you can do but wait to see what happens.

I've had 4 other issues, but they are not worth mentioning.
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:55 pm

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 3):
You mean US Scareways?

Yep. The successor to Agony Airlines. Scariest experiance I ever had was when a Scareways 737 crossed our flightpath about a mile ahead, left to right at the same altitude. We were flying on an IFR plan and neither flight got a TA from ATC.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:25 am

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 10):
DL MD11 Smoke in Cabin December 2002.

Do you know what the source of the smoke was?
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:39 pm

Flying into FLL on DL M88 the plane came in so hard that when we hit the runway our plane bounced back up into the air and we were forced into a go-around because we landed to far down, then while on our second approach we had another very hard landing causing us to skid on the slippery runway and we almost smashed into our 752 counterpart that was taxiing rather close to the runway.

Flying on an LAX-ONT flight by UAX B1900 during a thunderstorm. Talk about terrifying!
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:02 am

The scarriest one was the flight I ended up not taking: I was booked on the Faucett flight that hit high ground on approach to Arequipa on 29 February 1996. Two friends and I were booked on that flight as a part of a larger South America trip, but ended up cancelling our bookings about one or two months in advance because one part of the tour (a Machu Pichu excursion) had increased almost 100% in price, so we were way over our budget.

That was the one time I was really glad that the US Dollar had gone up against the D-Mark... 123 others were not as lucky as we were.
Smile - it confuses people!
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:00 am

As a passenger for me was when I was a youth. This was about 3 days short of a month after Flight 800 had went down and me and my aunt who was a school teacher were flying down to my mom and dads second home in Florida to meet up with them as they had went down a week before I finished sumer school. Our flight number was DAL801 LGA-TPA on a 727-200. We departed gate 4 at LGA and taxied out supriseingly fast for a summer evening departure to 13. We accelerate down the runway, rotate and make the shallow right turn that is a part of the whitestone. As we go into the left turn there is a loud and distinct thump and the airplane shudders, after that you could feel the reduction in power and the subsiquent decelleration. We level out and all of the sudden we are in a southbound turn which was odd. the captain came on and announced we had just experincved a severe compressor stall and were going to dump about 15,000 LBS of fuel and than divert to JFK for the full service. I was a kid and not knowladged in jets etc at the time obviously so I just though ok wexplosive sound from where I was sitting a flight number of 801 and we werre going to die. Funny in hindsight but I was shitting bricks at the time.
There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:55 am

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 12):
Do you know what the source of the smoke was?

Oops Dec 2001, should have looked in my travel log instead of my memory  Smile

Pressurization issue. Amazing that 2 flyertalk people were on that flight also. Their recollection is the same as mine, I have never seen DL's "senior" FA's ever move so fast before or since.
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:20 am

American Airlines MD-80 DFW-SJC seat 28F, feeling my broken seat starting to slip backward as we climbed...

That and watching the engine cowling develop cracks as we cruised along...
"Reading departure signs in some big airports reminds me of the places I've been"
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:53 pm

on a recent IAH-SEA flight aboard CO and a turkish lady goes up to the first class, doesn't speak a word english, and the flight attendants are trying to get her to sit down, and 2 turkish guys stand up, and in the seats ahead of me you could tell my mom was ready to jump up if it was a hijacking, luckly it wasn't but boy was it scary.
The sky is no longer the limit, but the mere minimum
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:34 am

I've had a few, but still nothing will put me off flying!

The first one I remember was a major wind-sheer due to a small dust devil right before the threshold of BCN's runway. From being on a normal approach with the A320 we were very suddenly dropped almost down onto the road and made a very, very hard landing before the piano keys. Somebody even caught a picture of it!

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Photo © Marlo Plate - Iberian Spotters

Then several years later I had a close call at PEK when flying back to the UK; I was a bit disappointed as the aircraft was the same A343 which I had flown out on from LHR and had delayed us by about 6 hours due to a lightening strike! About 25-30 seconds into the take-off roll one of the engines conked out, which is not great at the best of times, but even worse when you are on an A343 during a hot and humid Chinese summer. It was a long rotation, finally nudging into the air at the very end of the 3800m runway and barely climbing out, flying low to pick up airspeed. Regardless, we carried onto Heathrow, and the engine was restarted so I presume the issue was not major.

Back to Iberia for the next one, whilst still climbing out from BCN one spring, heading towards the Pyrenees on an A320 bound for LHR, the spoilers were raised very suddenly, power cut and the nose of the plane dropped quickly. About 15 seconds later an MD87 shot across the sky above us from the left, there was at least 1000ft separation, but it would have been a heck of a lot closer if we had continued to climb which was a little unnerving!

About the most apprehensive I have ever felt about a flight, and I have mentioned it on here before, was one winter flying from BCN-MAH. Iberia, Spanair and Air Europa had cancelled ALL of their (jet operated) flights because of bad weather in Mahon, so I was amazed and worried slightly that Air Nostrum decided they would be flying me there, in a Dash 8. It's still the worst approach I have ever had; one minute you could see flashes shooting through the dark night sky, the next a black mass of sea beneath. All the time the aircraft was tossed around, eventually coming in so sideways to counter the crosswind (according to the captain, crosswind and headwind were both gusting to 100mph - surely he must have meant kmph though!) that I had a perfect view of the runway from Seat 3A until a few moments before we flared and touched the wheels expertly down.

Earlier this year I had a stupidly hard landing in Damascus on a Yak 40 of Syrian Arab Airways. The pilot cut the power and put reverse thrust on some 20+ft above the ground, meaning we sank like a stone and after hitting the runway with enough force to bounce us back up, came down again heavily on the right main gear and almost veered off the runway. The first impact shook the cabin with a worrying crack; everything shook and you really felt it on the poorly padded seats. I had some quite bad chest pains after that and they only got worse, eventually landing me in hospital several times with suspected broken ribs, which was a pain to say the least. I had to cut my trip short as I could no longer walk and carry my backpack, and once I got home was told not to fly until all was healed! Well, I left it for four weeks, before flying became the easiest option, only my smooth 30 min flight PLH-BRS turned into a roller-coaster through a thunderstorm, plenty of sheers and still the worst turbulence I've had in over 300 flights, not to mention exactly what you do not want when on strict orders to rest!

Dan Smile is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:57 am

March of 1995 MCI to OMA on BE1900 in March. A late winter front was blowing in and the winds were up and gusty coming straight out of the west at approximately 25 kts. Take off from MCI on RWY 19R has fine except a little bumpy but pretty much smoothed out once we made our cruising FL of 210 (or thereabouts). As we decended on approach to OMA the weather was a worse than when we left MCI. As we began our long final approach to either 32L or 32R the little B1900 was constantly getting buffeted and the lower we got the worse it got with the wings dipping up and down dramatically. Being an experienced flyer not prone to being worried by turbulence, this started to get my attention and I started to get a bit concerned.

As we approached the outer marker the pilot was unable to keep the B1900 in anything resembling a stabilized approach. Since I was sitting on the left side I was I got a great view of how steeply banked to the left we where. As we approach the threshold and came over the runway, the plane banked sharply to the left and at about 50' AGL I stared straight down the wing and saw the centerline of the runway. About that time the pilot aborted the landing and we began our climb to attempt another approach.

After about 2 minutes the captain announced that they were going around to make another attempt at landing. The few passengers on the plane silently looked at each other in disbelief that we were going to have to go through this adventure again. But alas, about 5 minutes later the captain announces that OMA had just been shut down and that we were headed back to MCI....much to the relief of the passengers.

We landed safely at MCI and as I was about to use a pay phone I overhear a couple of USAirways Express ground crew comment that there was a Chief Pilot on board and he grabbed the controls when we were attempting our landing at OMA. I thought to myself, what would have happened if there were two less experienced pilots on board and they would have tried to complete the landing.

I figured I dodged a bullet that day.
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:33 am

This event took place in 1985. I was a flight attendant for Pan Am. We were on a flight from LHR to JFK and we encountered some very heavy turbulance half way through the trip. We were serving lunch when all of a sudden the 747 dropped and sent me flying. I landed on top of one of the passangers. I was so embarassed and at the same time scared to death. My co worker on the other side landed on her ass on the isle and stopped the cart with her feet.
Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.
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RE: Share Your Scary Flight Story

Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:58 am

My scary flight has to be...
Anytime landing or taking off from Denver.

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