This ought to be good, what was your scariest flight? Airline, to from, time frame (rough), aircraft type.
Mine was from JFK-DCA on American Eagle, an ATR-42 this was back in about '94-'95. I remember a day or so before there was a crash of an ATR-72 and that weighed on me. At any rate I was with my now ex. and coming home, we hit some WX just outside DCA and it was rock and roll all the way in. We would pitch and roll…I remember people screaming and my ex crying. I just remember once we did land and taxi from the runway, the whole plane cheered.
THIS was mine. Since posting that message, I’ve seen air-to-air pictures posted here which showed a pilot’s eye view of another plane with RVSM spacing. Though I’m now relieved that the incident probably wasn’t a near miss, it was still the scariest moment in an airplane for me.
mine was on takeoff out of COS, hot summertime day on a fully loaded 727, the takeoff roll seemed to take forever, and i was stuck with a middle seat and couldn’t see anything, only time i have ever got fidgety on a plane
Mine would have to be taking off on runway 04 at KLGA in a fully-loaded NWA Airbus A320. 7000’ runway, with water at the end, and no arrestor bed. We got off OK, but as soon as we took off, I looked down, and saw water.
Again, I’ll mention the sightseeing trip in a C207 over the Grand Canyon in 28kt gusts…the stall horn couldn’t stay quiet for 5 seconds. And it’s a long way to the bottom…
icepilot7 reminded me of another one, in a loaded 727… Every seat was full, with lots of fuel for a KSAN-KORD nonstop. Well, due to a low marine layer, 9 was active that morning at KSAN, with long delays for those waiting to depart 27. We start to taxi to 27, to find an AA MD-80 waiting there. “Why?” I thought… He’s only going to San Jose, shouldn’t be all that heavy to need a 27 takeoff (This was 1986, the only time I saw AA MD-80’s in San Diego, they were on the San Jose route.) Well, we never stopped behind them on the taxiway, instead making a 180 to hightail back down to 9. Got right on the runway. I thought "Gee can we do this??"
Tower goes by…old Convair building passing by…still no rotation…finally the nose is up and the mains thump off the deck just as we cross the 27 displaced threshhold. 7600’ takeoff roll, which really is no big deal in a loaded 727…but to do it on runway 9 at KSAN, we cut it close. On the way down into KORD a few hours later, we flew through a developing squall line…that was…um…interesting
Landing at CMH many years ago on a puddle-jumper from YYZ. The runway (singlular at the time) was east-west, and there was very strong, gusty north wind at the time.
The cockpit and passenger cabin were in the same compartment - we could clearly watch through the windshield as the visibly sweating pilot level off a few feet over the runway, waiting for a pause in the breeze while the plane swayed from side to side. He finally caught a break about halfway down the runway and dropped us down HARD.
May '83, Eastern DC-9 from KATL to KORF. Thunderstorm, lightning flash, all the lights go out (I believe we were hit and had engine stall) got that old sinking feeling…engines restart, passengers and crew ordered to stay in seats until we arrived. Prior to the fun they had served chicken ala king for the meal…the interior ended up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting.
Irony, I was flying to meet some Navy aviators from Oceana that night. They informed me that there was no way they would have flown (commercially) that night.
Many airlines use reduced power takeoffs (in fact we did at Airnet in the Lears). They figure out runway length, temp, air psi, a/c weight, and other variables to figure what power setting to us for takeoff. The result is they use the WHOLE runway for takeoff. It’s safe - they have a speed at which they decided whether they need to continue or stop if something happens. At that speed (called V1 or decision speed) they will have enough room to either STOP, continue with 1 engine. That’s a very brief and simplistic description. So your question is why do this? Because it uses less fuel (saves money).
In any event here is mine:
I was going into KCLE, into 6L. The winds were 330 @ 25, it was the middle of winter and snowing about 2"/hr. EVERYONE was holding. I was a freight pilot, so I’m going to land. I was doing an IOE for a new hire, and thought I show him how it’s done. I had the GS and LOC pegged all the way down, I must have had 30 degree of correction. I broke out of minimums mashed the rudder to the floor and milked it onto the runway. As soon as the nose touched the runway the aircraft weather vaned into the wind and was now sliding down the r/w sideways. I must have to much time in boats b/c the first thing I did was push up just the left throttle. Now I’m pointing down the r/w but being pushed to the side. OK this is bad. Pushed both levers up and pulled back, I was about blue line -10. As we lifted off on the stall horn I heard “thump thumb.” Now we’re going up but the gear won’t go up.
After landing we find the gear wells packed with snow. I assume we hit the snow drifts on the side of the runway. It is by the grace of God I didn’t cartwheel that a/c down the runway.
Lessons learned and relearned.
If everyone is holding b/c of winds so should you.
When the r/w is covered with snow a gentle touch down is bad, plant it!
never show off for the new guy
carry clean undies, just in case
fly the a/c to the ground and on the ground.
I remember that landing every time I fly an ILS and esp. in the winter.
That’s my scariest landing, but I’d like to hear others as well. We can all learn from each other.
USAir Express/ Air Midwest Beech 1900D from PIT to ART - second flight ever for me on a 1900. 20 mins after takeoff the F/O comes over PA (only time I’ve ever heard the PA on a 1900) and says “Uhh, sorry everyone, we’ve got a warning indicator up here that we’re not quite sure what exactly is going on - we’re gonna divert to DUJ.” Why in the world did he have include the “not quite sure what exactly is going on” comment???
The other was a DL (probably MD88 - I don’t remember) into ATL - horrid wx - during app the flight attendant literally tumbled onto two pax in the row in front of me.
mines flying on a Boeing 757-200 with First Choice on a flight from Gatwick - Palma, we were at 39000ft and out of my window i saw a 767 (dont know series) coming straight at the plane before pulling up and going over top, man i heard alot of gasps, i told my mother (who hates flying) and that made her really nervous (stupid thing to do i know!) then the captain announcing on the PA : sorry for that unexpected turbelance ladies and gentleman we had an unexpected visitor!’ at least the captain made light of the situation, i was the only one who laughed!
There was this time, we were in a 1900 (didn’t know C from D back then, but I’m thinking D). So, it starts raining just before the plane lands at the airport we were waiting at… It was late due to bad weather back home. We take off, little bumpy during the takeoff. But everything is Ok, just flying in the rain till Swoop!, plane drops, at least a couple hundred feet, must have been an air pocket or something, was with a group of people, and by now everyone is screaming. I thought we were goners so I didn’t bother add to the noise. We pulled up, right wing (I believe) up, drop again, not as much, back up and level. By now these girls are crying. The one right behind me almost started confessing all her sins! lol. So this old timer in the row ahead (first row) starts yapping about how he been in worse stuff, yadda yadda, how they told them to put their heads between their legs n stuff, whatever. Now, I got over it but the crying and stuff is just annoying now. The old-timer up front seemed to have gotten annoyed too because he told the pilot to speed it up, because they were crying, lol, and the pilot did. Guess it wasn’t much for the pilots, because a friend and I was listening to them while they were on the radio and they seemed to have been racing with a flight coming out of Jamaica.
I was working a flight and we were going from KEF-RFD and we hit some really rough weather and we were just about done with service, and became worse, i flew up a bit, i grabbed the cart and the guy in the aisle grabbed my arm so i wouldn’t fly up, when it became smooth we put the cart away and just about grabbed our jumpseats but the 2 of us fell to the floor, that was the worst turbulance.
I have a few but this was the best. I was jumpseating on a Fokker F-27 and bam we suffered a gearbox failure over the Grand Canyon. On one engine and a full load of passengers plus summer air temps meant the crew be required to start driftdown procedures while we limped back to Vegas. We arrived LAS and landed safely on 19R with firetrucks waiting. Taxied in and loaded onto a waiting F-27, out of our 46 passenger’s only 12 wanted to try for Grand Canyon a second time. Scared the crap out of the rest!
The F-27 is slightly underpowered on a good day and those Rolls Royce Darts make a noise you will never forget. 30000 pound dog whistle!
Mine was on a WN flight from HOU to BNA, going through a line on thunderstorms. Lots of bouncing around and people screeming ( I was not one of them). Felt like we did a couple of barrel rolls but we got to BNA on-time.