So my morning flight went well considering my luck with flights in the past month. It turns out, that I still am on the FBI watch list, but for a much different reason then I ever would have thought. Turns out, it is nothing that I have done. What it is is there is someone on the "FBI No-fly" list that has a name that is close to my name. So, due to that, when my name pops up, it finds it as a 85% match, and flags me.
Good news, there is paper work that I can file with the FAA to get this all taken care of. So I just might do that, cus I love to use the stupid self check-in things. Go figure, me love something that uses technology. lol. So, that puts my mind at ease. I would like to take this time to thank 2 southwest ticket agents. One in Albuquerque that told me about the paperwork that I can do. The agent in Phoenix told me why I was on the list. More then I ever got out of the stupid American Airlines agent.
So, my class was great, and I learned a lot. My class got over at noon, and I was back to the airport by 12:30pm. So, since I had gotten my boarding pass that morning, I breezed thru security, and went on a search for food. I ended up walking the full lenght of Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor, which is around 2 miles both side. So, I figure I walked about 5 miles total at the airport, which is good cus I need to get more active.
So, I got lunch from Wendy’s cus, well, the CPK was not a full CPK, and did not have pizza. So that sucked, but it's ok Wendy’s has some great salads that I love, so that all works. So, grabbed my food, and went back to my gate, where I found some power to "steal" (read as use), so I finished watching "Ray" (see earlier post). So, that was all good, and I killed some time doing that. Then it was time to board my flight and let the fun start.
So, this is where the fun starts, and where the subject for this post comes from. So, after we took off from Phoenix, we had some turbulence to deal with, which was all fine and dandy. But, once we got above 20,000 ft, we were fine. Fine until we were about 100 miles from Albuquerque. That is when it got fun. The pilot comes on, tell us that "We need to discontinue use of all electronic devices, and that the flight attendants have 5 min until they need to be seated due to turbulence ahead". Now, when the pilot tells the flight attendants they need to be seated at a specific time, you know you are in for a ride. And ride we did. So, I have experienced turbulence before, and this rates about 6 or 7 on a 10pt scale. Nothing really to write home about execpt for one.
This one set of turbulence was fun. This one hit the tail of the plane to the left. At the same time we hit a really strong headwind. Also, we hit a pocket of air, and it pushed us down. So in the end, the plane felt like it was just floating around, and not really moving. It was a weird feeling, but I was not too worried, as I know for the most part what these planes can handle. It was a half shock, but weird no less. The life changing experience came upon landing.
So, as we were coming in for landing, we were hitting really bad turbulence that was shaking us all over. You could tell the pilot was having issue keep the plane where he wanted it. So, on this flight I had a middle seat, cus I found the joy of sitting in a exit seat on southwest (yea for being able to stretch my feet out), so since I was a middle seat, I could still see out the window. Now, I could tell we were coming down at a good clip, but did not really think anything about it. Well, as we got about 20 feet above the runway, the pilot was able to stabilize our decent, and started to bring us down. Right before I wheels were due to touch the ground, the pilot gave the engines full throttle. To me, that right there is a sign that something is up.
To me, it was a sign that he might abort the landing, and try again. That was something that would not had been a bad idea, but other things happened that messed that up. So, all of a sudden, right after the engines went full, we were slammed to the runway by a gust of turbulence. Our wheels did not all land at the same time, which proved to be a problem. The problem was at the speed we were going, and how we hit the runway, we bounced. Not the normal whole plane bounces up and then back down. Nope, our front end started to go back up, almost like a take off. But, I guess hitting the runway like we did, just killed some of our speed. So, then as our back wheels were leaving the ground again, our front came back down, but at a really bad angle.
At that point in time, I thought we were goners. You could feel the caption trying to pull the nose back up, it was really scary. So, thru the grace of god, we get all sets of wheels on the ground. Our problem now is that we are all over the runway, prob cus we were traveling too fast. So, now the pilot is trying to regain control of the plane and slow us back down. It's not like the plane was fishtailing, cus you can tell when that is happening. This was just like, we were out of control. There were a few times I thought we were going to tip or something like that.
So, the pilot was able to bring the plane back under control, and slowed us down. I think for the first time in my life I truly thought I was about to die, or get hurt really bad. I know it’s the first time I have ever been scared to be on a plane. Now do not get me wrong, I know all about the safety record of planes and all that, but stuff still happens.
So, as we are taxing to our gate, the flight attendants are just as speechless as we are. You can tell they have there had on the mic, but do not know what to say. So finally, after 15 to 30 seconds of dead air, we hear on the radio "Well, were here", and then a bit later, we here the flight attendant say something to the fact about "And we made it in once piece....well sort of...we think". Just what I wanted to hear. So, basically I am happy to be on the ground and to of the living.
So as we are deplaning, I am making small talk with the flight attendants, and I ask "So does this fall under the 'near miss' category?", and the one flight attendant gives me this look like "I can't say yes, but yes" then the other flight attendant says, it falls under the "hee-haw" category. Then she goes on to say "That landing scared the crap out of us". Now for a flight attendant to admit that in public, you know it has got to be bad. I mean these people see 3 to 5 landings a day. So it had to be bad.
So basically, when we came back down after our first encounter with the runway, if the piolet had not been able to pull up on the stick like he did, then my best guess is our nose would have been in the ground, and we would have been flying end over end down the runway.
Or if we had tipped over when the pilot was trying to regain control as we were flying down the runway, we would have gone wing over wing across the airfield. So right now, I am just really happy to be home, and I think I am going to steer clear of flying for a little while. I am not scared to fly, nor do I think I will ever be. But, I think staying on the ground is a good thing right now, and after that little fun we had today, I have had about as much flyin as I want.
So, long story short, I am fine, just a little shaken up, that is all.