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Back from Europe. Trip went like clockwork. Flight was grand, except for the wheel catching fire and the emergency evacuation at O'Hare. Am tired. More later.

ETA: Hey, my flight made the news!

Comments

dawtheminstrel
Aug. 5th, 2010 11:16 am (UTC)
Oh dear. That sounds...exciting!
frenchpony
Aug. 5th, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC)
It was exciting! We'd just landed (which felt a bit bumpy, but nothing unusual), and we were just sort of happily taxiing around the tarmac toward our gate, when these beepers went off, and there was this voice telling us to evacuate the plane. Then I heard something blow out one of the rear exits, and that was when people started to realize that this was a For-Real Emergency. The flight attendants decided that everyone should exit through the front, so we did. I wouldn't say there was great panic, but there was general nervousness, since we knew that something was on fire somewhere. More people were afraid of the slide than anything else, I think.

Anyway, once we got off the plane, we saw that it was the landing gear that was smoking and not, say, the tail of the plane or the fuel tanks. So that was reassuring, and some people who did not have their cameras tucked away inside two bags left on the plane took pictures, which I totally would have done if I hadn't left my bags on the plane.
dawtheminstrel
Aug. 5th, 2010 12:09 pm (UTC)
So you went down the slide and everything? That would be a little scary. How long did it take to get your bags then? Because I imagine you were pretty tired by that point since you'd come from Italy. Did they have to question about events and whether you were hurt?
frenchpony
Aug. 5th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
Yup, I went down the slide! There are two things that they don't tell you about the slide in the pre-flight briefings. 1) It's a lot steeper than you think it is -- they show a playground-slide incline, but it's actually much more like top-of-a-rollercoaster. 2) You go down the slide much faster than you think you will. This isn't a bad thing -- you want to get people off the plane quickly -- but it is something that would have been good to know in advance.

I wasn't scared of the slide (I thought the slide was kind of fun), but a lot of people were, especially older people and this one young lady with Down's Syndrome whose family had to put her on the slide to get her to go down. Since I went down faster than I'd anticipated, I made a remarkably graceless landing, but I rolled with it and wasn't hurt. Most of the injuries were scraped knees and legs from people who fell getting off the slide because they tensed up because they were scared.

It took about three hours before they got to the point where they would let us on the plane to get our bags. Right after we got off, the guys in the neon yellow vests went around asking if anyone was hurt, and they had lots of ambulances around just in case. We didn't get questioned about what happened, partially because we didn't really know, and partially because, from the investigators' point of view, it was pretty clear what happened: the plane made a rougher landing than it should have, and the friction ignited the (probably aging) tires in the landing gear.

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by Illsaysheis
frenchpony
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