Responding to yesterday's post about the emergency landing of a test 787, Slog tipper—and contributor—Matt Hickey tells his recent tale of airborne peril:
That new Boeing thing is kinda scary, but I myself was in an emergency landing over the weekend. AirTran flight 619 from New Orleans to Milwaukee. I'd just dozed off when a man's voice came over the intercom: "Everyone, we're going to come collect all your beverages right now. We need you to put your seats up and close your trays immediately. Some of you can probably smell the smoke, we're going to make a rapid decent to Memphis where we'll be making an emergency landing."
More from Hickey after the jump.
To my surprise, there wasn't much panic on the half-full flight, with the exception of the poor girl sitting right behind me who completely lost her shit. She was hyperventilating, crying, and screaming.
Anyway, then everyone's ears popped and the guy mentioned that we'd lost cabin pressure. Then the cabin lights went out. He got on the intercom again and said, "We've blown a fuse, which is what you're smelling. It's having an effect on the other fuses in this box right here, which is why we lost cabin pressure. We're descending to 10,000 feet and will be landing in just a few moments. Don't worry, everything should be fine, we just want to be more safe than sorry."
Then the intercom went dead. No air pressure, no lights. That's when I started getting scared.
The man sitting next to the panicking girl came up to sit in my empty row. "First time?" I asked. "Yup, but I trust them," he said. Then I started reading my Esquire. I mean, what else could I do? Freaking out doesn't do anyone any good. We started talking about iPads.
We had a bumpy-but-fast landing at Memphis. Fire trucks raced alongside the plane, which was kind of exciting. We were all off the plane in about two minutes. They made sure we grabbed our stuff.
Then we waiting. Most of the people were put on another plane to Milwaukee. I was the only person going to Seattle, so they had to put me up for the night at the glamorous Raddison (Sleep Number Beds!) and fly me home the next day. I got in Sunday afternoon in time to watch the Seahawks get slaughtered.