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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Inflight Drama

Truth is stranger than fiction. 
 JR has a guardian angel looking over his shoulder...

"You need to know that I have been detained and questioned ... I would say “interrogated”... twice by officials of the PRC. I have had loaded firearms pointed at me at Incheon/ICN (Seoul). 

I have been on a flight where we catastrophically lost an engine at altitude, another where we had a sudden cabin pressure loss, a flight that skidded off of a runway landing on ice, a flight where the cockpit electronic navigation system failed, and a flight where the left main landing gear did not come up, and then did not display down and locked.

I have been on a flight where a Pax seated in my row was arrested and handcuffed inflight by an air marshal, and I have been in turbulence so bad that a service cart hit the ceiling and several Pax and an FA had to be hospitalized. All of those feelings and experiences are roughly on par with how I felt as..."

How cruel is that to leave you hanging! What could be in par with all those events? Do you want to know? Take a guess and leave it in the comment section below... and then click on over to PAXVIEW to see what JR compares his life drama too.

What was the scariest or most unusual thing that has happened to you on a plane?
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. Let's see. Engine failure on a 747 in mid Atlantic? nah. Blowing 8 tires on a 747 landing in Montreal? Boring. Welded brakes on a BAC 1-11 after a short field landing? Dull. Oh yes, exploding left engine (probably a compressor stall on an early RB211) on an L1011 taking off from Philadelphia. That got my attention, especially since I had a window seat on that side near the engine. Large bang, flames out of both ends, rejected T/O, transfer to to a small aircraft that took us to JFK, and arrival in London 6 hours late.

    By contrast, I've never had an incident in an airplane when I've been at the controls, if you don't count a little unexpected ice build up over the southern Rockies in my Bonanza (easily fixed with a climb).

    1. DB... I have to wonder, why some people experience all these incidents. Most go their entire life without one. Interesting... So glad your experience as a passenger is a lively one! lol
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Wow.This is awesome!

    I mean, in a interesting way. I don't know, but this is awesome.

    From what I recall, two things has happened to me. One was a passenger panicking on board yelling the aircraft was going to crash. Flight heading oceanic at cruising altitude (display showed 42.000ft).

    The second most strange thing, but not in a plane, was this year. There was this suspicious object at T3 (LHR) alone. Nobody was in charge of it, so I had to report to a British Airways airport agent. It all ended up okay, but the passenger was only walking around the Duty Free shops while he was waiting for his flight to Nigeria. The object was a bag and was keeping his seat at the gate.

    I contacted the airport agent because the bag (and a box) were alone for 50 minutes since I sat down to wait for my flight. And they ask everyone to report if there is any suspicious object.

    Funny and dangerous adventure. I was alone, but a woman from Australia caught my attention and said "That bag has been there for 50 minutes already! Oh no!"


    1. Alex, good for you!! We need more people to take action when they see things like this. When something does happen, people say... "You know I thought about it..." When you think, take action. Awesome!
      And a passenger screaming we're going to die... that is scary! Hopefully it wasn't one of the pilots!

  3. JR. the suspence is killing me.
    JR. Has a bad case of Murphy's law.
    So im sort of hoping everything turned out ok.

    1. Click on the blue link that say's Paxview and you can read all about it. :)

  4. D.B. stop flying. Dont you get the signs??

    1. Or maybe the sign is ... nothing can stop you! :)

  5. In all of these I was a passenger - At the time I did not have much time to be scared, but I have been in three aircraft crashes, although one really doesn't count. One that does was a Beech C-45 that the brakes locked on takeoff and flipped us on our back. No fire, no injuries, but the plane was a mess. Arizona, and I still remember the N number was 33 Zulu. I guess you always remember your first one.
    I need to stay out of C-45s. The second was a C-45 as well, overloaded and lost an engine at 1,000. Got to land in the desert. Bellied in, but the plane flew again.
    Third was an Aeronca that the right main flipped under the fuselage on takeoff from a small country airport. I think a bungee cord broke. Flew around for awhile, then the pilot brought it in on the left main and held it until a very slow speed. When the right wingtip hit the dirt it spun, big cloud of dust. When the dust cleared there was about 20 people standing there with fire extinguishers. Any sign of smoke and we would have frozen in the extinguisher onslaught.

    1. Amazing. To walk away from a crash not once, but three times is a gift in itself. A guardian angel watching over you!

  6. Flying through the Bermuda Triangle in a C-130, we had all unstrapped and found comfortable places to lay. On top of ground equipment, on top of cargo nets or just on the floor. Aircraft dropped 5,000ft, we all ended up hitting the roof then back onto the ground equipment, no serious injuries.

    1. Bob.. now that is exciting. And through the Bermuda Triangle no less...Quite the jolt, and surprise...and a moment of what next?
      Thanks for your comment.


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