Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thank you for not killing me

Accompanied by my brother and father, I was flying from Tucson to Vegas.
Airlines: Southwest.

We took off from Tucson for this one-hour flight. About 15 minutes into the flight, we heard a weird noise, probably coming from under the plane.

A few moments later the pilot made an announcements, "Folks I think we have a technical problem in the landing gear, we have to return and go back to Tucson."

Then he added, "but don't worry, everything is OK."

I was wondering if the landing gear is not functioning, why are we returning to Tucson rather than continuing to Vegas. It would not matter if we crash in Tucson or Vegas.

It didn't feel great as the plane was taking more curves and returning to Tucson. I was thinking how many passengers in the hijacked 9/11 planes did not know they were being hijacked in the beginning. "What if the one talking to us was not the pilot but some crazy hijacker?", I thought.

I also remembered the jetblue flight last year that almost went into flames because of its landing gear malfunction. Ironically the jetblue passengers were watching their own landing live on the TV screens inside the plane!
Here's a video of the jetblue incident on live TV:

The plane landed peacefully in the end. I got a letter from Southwest 2 weeks later, "....shortly after takeoff, the Pilots received an indication that the landing gear wouldn't retract. As such, the Captain made the decision to return to TUS (Tucson) to have the problem inspected. Our Maintenance Department reports that the mechanism that helps lift the gear and holds it in place wasn't working properly."

They also sent each of us a 100-dollar voucher!

I did some Internet search that showed that Southwest had a terrible landing gear problem just TWO MONTHS before my flight and they hand to land emergently in Oakland. Now I'm not so happy!
I guess that when you pay 49 dollars for a flight, that's what you will get.


Me said...

El Hamdulillah 3ala essalameh!!! it could have been worse.

Hani Obaid said...

I appreciate the feeling. The closest run I had was on a flight from London with (Olympic Airlines), the reservation was last minute, so it was the only one I could find. Let's just say that you could hear the structure of the plane bulk as it was flying, you could hear the screws unfastening. I was so happy when we landed.

Anonymous said...

7amdillah 3ala salamtak Fares, ou salamet waldak ou akhook. The best part of this story is that you are safe and sound to tell it! :)

Hareega said...

thanks a lot alla ysallemko,

hani obaid may i recommend flying Al-ajni7ah al malakiyyah ...

Madi said...

yala man, el khair bel jayat.

Anonymous said...

el 7amdellah 3al salama.

The pilot seemed to be very careful and good in the landing.