Sunday, November 30, 2008

Flight 6285 11/25/08

‘In the event there’s a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will be deployed. Pull the mask firmly towards you to release the flow of oxygen’…. That’s what ran through my head as I put on my mask. Two hours earlier we had left Denver for our final destination to Detroit. The small bombardier CRJ700 jet engines were so loud in the back rows that the flight attendants gave us earplugs. Suddenly the roar of the left engine stopped and I glanced out the window. Hmmm, the engine was still. The plane was bobbing strangely, and noticeably descending. The cabin felt eerily strange. We still had an hour of flight left. I leaned across Maggie’s lap and asked the passenger on the other side of the aisle if she could look out her window and tell me if that engine was running. Maggie scolded me and said I was frightening the passengers. I said again with quick nods “we’re losing altitude” and the jet started to drop some more. The Pilot’s voice came over “flight attendants, prepare the cabin for emergency landing” and I stared down at the miles of crop fields that we were preparing to land in. Suddenly, a loud clap as hatches swung open, masks dropped, and audible gasps from all the passengers. The plane was banking sharply to the left, then to the right. The woman that I had just asked about the state of the right engine, went into major panic mode. She was hysterically saying she didn’t know what to do with her mask. Her husband was in a quiet state of shock. I looked over to the flight attendant strapped into her own seat, wildly chewing her gum. Her eyes told me everything. Maggie reached over to the mother’s knee and sternly said, “Mam, you have to stay calm for your kids.” The two boys sat together and their masks were tangled above their heads. Instantly Maggie stood up, ignoring her own mask, crossed the aisle, untangled the mess, helped them put them on, turned to their mother behind them, helped her with her mask and her daughter’s. I kept asking Maggie to come back and put her mask back on. Finally, she sat down, strapped her seat buckle and we peacefully looked at each other acknowledging our goodbyes and held hands. I accepted our fate but thought the timing really sucked. The two flight attendants in the front of the cabin also held hands and one was gently crying. After we had dropped 20,000 feet, the pilot came on again and said the oxygen masks were no longer necessary...we would be in Cedar Rapids in about five minutes. I turned my head and smiled at Maggie...“that’s an airport” ......S.

5 comments:

Caitlin said...

well that jsut thoroughly freaked me out.... dont think i'll be coming home since i wont be able to step foot on a plane!!! glad you're both safe and sound. love you.

Justin said...

OH MY GOD! I'm so glad you two are alive and well. Yet another thing for me to be thankful for.

adamw said...

wow...maggie is my hero

Anna Osborne said...

Sadi, that picture of you with mask is priceless!

Anna

Anna Osborne said...

Wow, I just read your blog! Hadn't when I made the mask comment. Yay Maggie! I'm glad you two are together and that all worked out in the end.