FEAR OF FLYING – MY OWN
Wednesday 1st April 2015
When I was young, I loved getting on a plane, it was my transport of choice, then on a trip back to Menorca where I was living at the time, everything changed. I was on a Dan Air flight and as we boarded the plane a group of guys sat down opposite me and laughingly said ”hope this one doesn’t have to land on the motorway like the last one did’. Being 24 at the time I laughed with them. We were 15 minutes into the flight when there was a very large bang; lots of silver bits flew past the window, smoke and an acrid smell filled the plane. At the time my immediate thought was shit this isn’t great, then one of the Air Hostesses screamed and let her trolley go, I just remember ice tipping everywhere as she was carted off behind a curtain. Whatever confidence I had left had now evaporated. The pilot came on the tannoy to explain that unfortunately we had lost one engine but it was okay we were turning round heading back to the airport, everyone was to remain calm. I looked over at the laughing boys; they were no longer laughing they had their eyes shut and were as white as a sheets.
I think that was the eeriest thing about the whole episode, in disaster movies you hear screaming, you see people getting hysterical there was nothing like that on our flight, nobody spoke, nobody moved, nobody dared hardly breathe. We were all terrified. Time seemed to stand still. We had an emergency landing and when we finally stopped in a very British manner we all clapped. The Captain came out of the cockpit and shook our hands as we left the plane. We were taken to a private room and about 3 hours later about 15 of us caught another flight to Menorca, the rest of the people on the flight went home. I later learnt that our plane did have the same problem as the plane that landed on the motorway, the engines were wired up wrongly so when then Captain turned the engine off that was on fire in fact he turned the good engine off – this actually freaked me out and my next 10 years of flying was accompanied by various types of sleeping pills.
When I heard about the air disaster last week, I just remembered that awful silence, time standing still, I think we were all convinced that we were about to die and it was not going to be quick. I hope those people didn’t know anything until the very last seconds, I hope they were oblivious because I remember the terror. I keep thinking about the Captain who would have known exactly what was going to happen as soon as he he couldn’t get back into the cockpit, he would have felt the plane in descent he knew the terrain. It was a cruel and heartless act for a human being to destroy the lives on 150 people, not only them their friends and family too.
I cannot get the Captain out of my head, his desperation to save the plane the passengers and himself, it is a haunting thought.