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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!

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fafojoy
Aug. 5th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
In the fall of '93 or '94, I forget which now, I was flying out to Seattle/Tacoma with my roommate on a NWA DC-10 - It was one of those 2-5-2 seating arrangements. Kit and I were sitting over the right engine/wing. On takeoff, which was on the runway that dumps planes leaving MSP over the Minnesota River, we hit a flock of geese. Wiped out the right engine, which exploded in flames and then shut down. I believe it damaged the top engine too. We sort of cartwheeled on our side, but the wing didn't hit the ground, or we'd have crashed. People went flying (some weren't wearing seatbelts) and luggage went flying through the compartment.

Our pilots managed to level the plane, quite a feat, as I understand it now -we were scraping the tree tops over the Minnesota River Valley - and then we were flying very very low. We could see house numbers on the houses below. All that fuel weight in addition to passengers and cargo - on one working engine. It took us 20 minutes to get high enough to dump fuel, but they still did significant damage to paint jobs on the cars below.

After dumping fuel, they brought us in for a landing. They had us in crash positions, and we landed with a view of all these fire trucks and rescue squads and emergency vehicles lining the runway. I don't think they foamed the runway, though. I remember seeing the trucks with that stuff.

So after all that.... we taxied to the gate and they unloaded us there. We didn't even get to use the slide LOLOL. Which, though we were young and maybe would have enjoyed it, plenty of others would not have. Two of the crew were injured when we cartwheeled, as they were not buckled in for some reason, and some passengers were hit by flying luggage. I remember one young stewardess in hysterics - she was bleeding from a head wound and bruised up from being flung about in the kitchen galley area.

We made the local news and I didn't realize it, so didn't call family to tell them we were fine and had just taken the next plane to Seattle. Oops! Our flight is also included in the FAA's list of near miss wildlife hits - we didn't crash, but sure could have.

So that's my long winded story LOL.
frenchpony
Aug. 5th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
Yikes! See, now that's a real Scary Airplane Story. All my plane had was a relatively minor fire right there on the tarmac, which is really the best place to have an emergency.

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