No. of Recommendations: 61
With all my flying, I've learned there are certain things you really don't want to hear. It makes a pretty short list:

From my travel agent: Your flight will connect in Heathrow

At the check-in counter: We can't seem to find your reservation

Security: Will you follow me.

At the gate: Due to the late arrival of the inbound aircraft our flight will now depart 50 minutes later.

I'm sure I've got a few others as well. This week I heard a new phrase and it went to the top of my list. The phrase is, “We are having an issue with the landing gear” I might add, it has much more dramatic effect when your plane isn't on the ground.

I was taking a short flight on a regional carrier. It was a ATR-42, which is a prop plane. I fly them from time to time. I really don't mind them that much other than the fact that they are a bit noisy. I arrived at the gate and boarding went as planned. I found my way to my window seat. Since I was a bit tired, I kind of dozed in and out as we taxied and took off.

Shortly after takeoff, the pilot comes on the intercom and makes an announcement.

“Some of you may have noticed that we have turned back toward the airport” - I was sleeping at the time, so I didn't notice. In any case, I am thinking this isn't good news.

“We are having an issue with the landing gear” - OK, I AM WIDE AWAKE NOW! Funny how that statement will wake you right up, no matter how tired you are. In my book, for a safe and successful landing, you need wings, engines, and landing gear. Not having one of those three can ruin your day.

“Those of you on the right side of the plane may have noticed the problem as well” - I'm on the right side of the plane in a window seat and against my better judgment, I looked. On the ATR-42, the wings are at the top of the fuselage and the landing gear retracts into the wing. If you have a window seat, you can see the landing gear when it is down or in this case, when it does not retract correctly. It was just sort of hanging there halfway up and halfway down. Yes sir, captain! That doesn't look right!

“There is nothing to be alarmed about, the landing gear is fine” OK – this probably was just a bad translation from the pilot's native German, but I am thinking, “Hey crazy pilot – look out the window – this is not fine!” What he probably meant was that the gear still extended and locked correctly, so it was not that serious of a situation.

As we are heading toward the airport, the pilot keeps cycling the gear, it still won't retract, but it comes down perfectly. I know they are probably going through some normal diagnostic testing, but for me I am thinking that if we have the gear down and locked – LEAVE IT ALONE!

After a few minutes, we find arrive at the moment of truth, the landing. I know the pilot said everything was fine, but in the back of my mind I am thinking that something still may go wrong. I recheck the emergency exit door opening procedure a few times and recount the number of seatbacks to each exit several times just in case.

We cross over the runway and the pilot sets the plane down on the ground. OK, set is probably not the best word to use for the description of the landing. When we HIT the runway, I thought for a split second, something had gone wrong and we had crashed. I never had such a hard landing in my life. Now I don't know if the pilot just wanted to get on the ground a little quicker or was testing to see if the gear really was locked in place, but it was quite a jolt. Thankfully, other than the rough landing everything was fine. We taxied off the runway, past the awaiting fire and rescue trucks. I am glad they were not needed!

We finally taxied to the remote stand and parked. The flight crew shutdown the engines and the cabin broke out into applause. A few minutes later we caught the bus to the terminal where I spent the next few hours waiting for a replacement plane to get me to my destination. That flight went off without a hitch. What a day!
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No. of Recommendations: 5
"We will be circling the airport until they clear the crash off the runway."

In Spanish, over Guatemala City.

The crash turned out to be a prop passenger plane with the wings on top and fixed landing gear extending down below them. But I didn't know until then that it wasn't a jet with flaming wreckage strewn far and wide and over a hundred dead. When we landed, we taxied right past it--it had been moved off to the side of the runway. It looked like the wheel struts had failed on one side and the plane leaned over as it touched down, scraping up that side. The damage wasn't too bad and I would guess that everyone survived.

One week later I had an even more nerve-wracking experience in a jet flying to Tikal, but nobody said anything, so it doesn't qualify for this thread.

--fleg
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I was flying Islamabad to Dubai in December on Emirates. I chose Emirates for physical comfort and safety.

The safety briefing was first in Arabic, then English. My Arabic isn't all that good - Shukran and Inshallah are about it.

I was expecting shukran (thank you) at some point during the flight, probably at the end, but was NOT expecting Inshallah (Allah Willing) during the safety briefing.

There was nothing about God Willing we'll get there during the English briefing.

MCT
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Spent the night in Chicago because of weather on what was supposed to be an out and back trip. Think I'd be smart enough to take consider the possibility of not getting back ... nope.

Safety, Health and Security ... all the rest is just getting there. Getting home safe is your best reward. Glad YOU'RE safe ... my flight this morning is delayed too.

This too shall pass.

Hockeypop
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Since I have the time:

Airline cabin announcements

All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in flight
"safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining.
Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

1. On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just
sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time
>> choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

2. On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew,
the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude
and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and
to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

3. On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make
sure it's something we'd like to have.

4. "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are
only 4 ways out of this airplane"

5. "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you
enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a
>> ride."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>6. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald
>> Reagan, a lone
>>>>>voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>7. After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in
>> Memphis, a
>>>>>flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take
>> care when
>>>>>opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing
>> like that,
>>>>>sure as hell everything has shifted."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>8. From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard
>> Southwest
>>>>>Flight 245 to Tampa . To operate your seat belt, insert the
>> metal tab
>>>>>into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every
>> other seat
>>>>>belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably
>> shouldn't
>>>>>be out in public unsupervised."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>9. "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks
>> will descend
>>>>>from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it
>> over your
>>>>>face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure
>> your mask
>>>>>before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more
>> than one
>>>>>small child, pick your favorite."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>10. "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken
>> clouds,
>>>>>but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you,
>> and
>>>>>remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest
>> Airlines."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>11. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the
>> event of
>>>>>an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take
>> them with our
>>>>>compliments."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>12. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your
>> belongings.
>>>>>Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the
>> flight
>>>>>attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>13. And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta
>> Airlines is
>>>>>pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the
>> industry.
>>>>>Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>14. Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard
>> landing in
>>>>>Salt Lake City the flight attendant came on the intercom and
>> said, "That
>>>>>was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here
>> to tell
>>>>>you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's
>> fault, it wasn't
>>>>>the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>15. Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo,
>> Texas, on a
>>>>>particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach,
>> the Captain
>>>>>was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard
>> landing, the
>>>>>Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to
>> Amarillo .
>>>>>Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened
>> while the
>>>>>Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>16. Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect
>> landing:
>>>>>"We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo
>> bounces us to the
>>>>>terminal."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>17. An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he
>> had hammered
>>>>>his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy
>> which
>>>>>required the first officer to stand at the door while the
>> passengers
>>>>>exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our
>> airline." He said
>>>>>that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking
>> the
>>>>>passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a
>> smart comment.
>>>>>Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady
>> walking with
>>>>>a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
>> "Why, no,
>>>>>Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady
>> said, "Did we
>>>>>land, or were we shot down?"
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>18. After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the
>> attendant came on
>>>>>with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until
>> Capt.
>>>>>Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching
>> halt against
>>>>>the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning
>> bells are
>>>>>silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way
>> through the
>>>>>wreckage to the terminal."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>19. Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd
>> like to
>>>>>thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time
>> you get the
>>>>>insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized
>> metal tube,
>>>>>we hope you'll think of US Airways."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>20. Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. "Ladies and
>> gentlemen, if you
>>>>>wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the
>> wing and if
>>>>>you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
>>>>>
>>>>>21. A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport After it
>> reached a
>>>>>comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an
>> announcement over the
>>>>>intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain
>> speaking. Welcome
>>>>>to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles .
>> The weather
>>>>>ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and
>> uneventful
>>>>>flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!"
>>>>>
>>>>>Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came
>> back on the
>>>>>intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I
>> scared! you
>>>>>earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant
>> accidentally
>>>>>spilled a cup of hot cfee in my lap. You should see the front
>> of my
>>>>>pants!" A passenger in Coach yelled, "That's nothing. You
>> should see the
>>>>>back of mine."


Planes boarding. Couldn't get rid of all the mess. H
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A recent cabin announcement I heard on Skywest Airlines (feeder for United):

"Ladies and gentlemen, I will now demonstrate how to use the seatbelt on this aircraft. We do this just in case none of you have ridden in a car since 1965!"
.

Yoda
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Oh, yes. The rest of the story? About nine months after this event, I caught an article in Aviation Week and Space Technology, about a twin turboprop (same model) that belonged to (same airline) that had shed its port propeller on a trip up the coast out of LA. The prop sliced through the cabin. No one was hurt, and the aircraft made an emergency landing.


http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13829171
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..Things you don't want to hear...

Its not in the top ten list but I know someone who years ago was on a flight from San Francisco to Houston and shortly after takeoff the pilot started the announcements with "The weather in Tokyo is....".

She had someone gotten on the wrong flight at the next gate that was leaving at the same time.

Since she did not have a passport she was only on the ground in Tokyo for about 20 minutes before she was on he next plane out and was on airplanes for about two days straight as she went to Tokyo then to Houston.


Greg
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2. On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew,
the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude
and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and
to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."


This speaks to me. We flew to Maui this April, and the cabin attendants looked decidedly geriatric. The one reminded me of my dear, sainted mother. I wanted to help them when they had to push those heavy carts. I am 69, I swear she was much older than I am.

cliff
... I miss the good old days when stewardesses were sex objects.
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greg: Its not in the top ten list but I know someone who years ago was on a flight from San Francisco to Houston and shortly after takeoff the pilot started the announcements with "The weather in Tokyo is....".

She had someone gotten on the wrong flight at the next gate that was leaving at the same time.

I am easily amused. I like to ask the flight attendant, "So when will we get to Atlanta?" (on a flight to Denver.)

They usually get the joke.

cliff
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Dredging up an old thread, but I noticed you mentioned you were in Germany. Was this an SAS flight by chance? They have had a lot of problems lately with that very issue (landing gear) on the Bombardier made prop planes that SAS uses.
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Dredging up an old thread, but I noticed you mentioned you were in Germany. Was this an SAS flight by chance? They have had a lot of problems lately with that very issue (landing gear) on the Bombardier made prop planes that SAS uses

It wasn't SAS, though I do fly them from time to time. In my orignal post, I said it was an ATR-42, but I later realized that is was actually a Bombardier Dash-8. I didn't think that was a significant fact until I heard about the SAS incidents with the landing gear colapse on landing.

Here is a video of one of the planes landing with the landing gear collapse upon touchdown.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80iUMh6G-18

Here is a video from SAS flight director discussing the incident(s)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=692adCF6PS4&NR=1
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