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Your Scariest Flight ?

Old 27th Dec 2020, 19:54
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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I've managed to avoid anything scary, except at the start. My CPL practice qualifying cross country, EGHR to EGTE to EGBO and back. Made it as far as checking in with Solent for a transit of EGHI zone. Got a deconfliction service from them and was settling into the leg and a pair of wings appeared either side of the centre screen bar. (PA28). Froze for a second then fortunately pushed down to go under a Navajo who had flown right through the zone without speaking to them! Seriously just a little overcome with adrenaline overload for the next few minutes. He'd just jumped up on their radar and controller was quite apologetic.

I learned a valuable lesson that day about keeping an eye out the front window! It's always the buggers that will hit you are the ones that don't move in your vision too. I bet he had no idea how close we came either. No ident from him and no Mode C either so chances of a result through filing were minimal.

Never come anywhere near that close to dying since. And I ride a motorcycle.....
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 20:02
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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My first solo.

Trained at a very busy airfield with sometimes well over 10 jets, helicopters, twins and singles in the circuit at the same time. Because it was so congested, radio calls tended to get abbreviated, often to the point that a "read back" would be the last two letters of the registration.

Sent off on my own to do a lap round the field and in. Was going fine up to the point I was cleared to land on short finals (the tower knew I was a first solo), then apparently not long before crossing the threshold I was told to go-around as they wanted to cross traffic from one side of the airfield to the other, which required a short backtrack as the taxiways were not aligned. From what I’m told, I’d replied with the two-letter callsign but from inside I don’t remember as by then I was fixated on the landing. The guy pulled out onto the runway in an ATP without looking, at the same time I touched down about 200m away.

All I remember is seeing prop discs getting rapidly larger in the window and thinking I couldn’t stop in time, then firewalling the throttle, yanking the PA28 back into the air and managing to miss the oncoming aircraft. I flew a rather wobbly circuit then shut the aircraft down on the pan, thinking that a career in aviation was probably not for me!

I was met on the way back to the crew room by the DCFI, ex-mil, who was striding purposely on an intercept course. As he got closer, his facial expression softened and by the time we got close he looked rather concerned. “Would you like a cup of tea?” I think were his first words. Later he told me that he had never seen anyone so bloodless and with pupils dilated to the extent that mine were. An hour later I was getting a bit of delayed shock and had to leave my car at the airfield and get a lift home. The next day full read backs were in force...

That was 30+ years ago and here I am in the LHS of a 777, so I proved myself wrong in one way.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 23:51
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Vietnam, day off, operations calls and asks if I could take one of our Hueys down to Can Tho to pick up some spare parts, being an hour hog why not.

Taxiing for departure at Can Tho to return home to Dong Tam see a King Air (U-21) taxiing as well, him going to Saigon.

Settled in the cruise at exactly 2,000 on a cloudless beautiful day the cockpit is briefly darkened as the King Air sails overhead with seemingly only the thickness of a layer of paint separation. Being pressurised I expected him to be much higher. Always wondered what saved us both, sloppy flying on his part in not being at exactly 2,000, or inherent altimeter error. Tribulations of VFR in uncontrolled airspace.
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 05:29
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Vietnam, day off, operations calls and asks if I could take one of our Hueys down to Can Tho to pick up some spare parts, being an hour hog why not.

Taxiing for departure at Can Tho to return home to Dong Tam see a King Air (U-21) taxiing as well, him going to Saigon.

Settled in the cruise at exactly 2,000 on a cloudless beautiful day the cockpit is briefly darkened as the King Air sails overhead with seemingly only the thickness of a layer of paint separation. Being pressurised I expected him to be much higher. Always wondered what saved us both, sloppy flying on his part in not being at exactly 2,000, or inherent altimeter error. Tribulations of VFR in uncontrolled airspace.
Hi Megan,
There was a similar incident, involving airplanes, written about in "Fate is A Hunter" by EK Gann...you may know that book already but what you describe seems like it belongs in that book

Last edited by Pugilistic Animus; 28th Dec 2020 at 09:31.
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 11:02
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Two Nimrods tracking the passage of a south-bound Russian Navy fleet well out off the West coast of the UK, us up at medium level monitoring wireless transmissions and under-water noises and the other one down at low level with a group of journalists on board taking photographs. Both of the pilots who I was with were very experienced Nimrod captains. The captain of the low level crew was O/c Operations Wing. There was also a U.S Navy P3 operating in the area.

When the U.S. P3 closed the fleet the captain of the lower Nimrod suggested that we dropped down to their level and formated on the P3 so that the camera team could get some snaps of close NATO co-operation and the P3 captain agreed provided he got some copies of the photos.

My flight engineer self preservation antennae went immediately to full alert as we closed into a position astern and to starboard of the P3. Unplanned, unbriefed, unpractised close formation at 800 feet with two dis-similar aircraft types! But apart from suggesting that we started up the two engines that we’d shut down for the loiter I just concentrated on my own panel on the principle that if a system failed it would fail at the time when it would cause maximum problems, and the two very competent pilots could get on with doing their job.

We’d completed one run down the side of the Russians with the P3 between us and the fleet and in clear view from the captain’s seat and had rolled into a port turn across the Russkies’ sterns in order run up their other side with the other Nimrod fairly close on our starboard side happily snapping away when the captain called out “Speed”. The P3 had lost a bit of airspeed during the turn and the Nimrod’s controls were beginning to feel a little sloppy, but the co-pilot seemed to be away in a little world of his own and when the captain called “Speed” again I turned my seat forwards and slid to where I could see an ASI. As I moved I saw the captain look down and simultaneously the P3 start to roll out of his turn and close us rapidly. I remember changing my shout from “Look out!” to “Look Up!” And the captain stuffed the nose down as the underside of P3’s tail slid past just above our cockpit windows.

There wasn’t a lot of room downwards for an escape manoeuvre so we broke formation and slid out sideways into a quiet area before climbing back up to our loitering height, taking a few deep breaths, and getting on with our proper job.

We all learned about flying from that.
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 13:04
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Night landing at Guam in the Western Pacific region in a 737-200. Two parallel runways about 300 metres apart. 6L was 10,000 ft in length with ILS. 6R 8000 ft no aids no VASIS. Thresholds of both runways joined by taxiway at 90 degrees. Weather 1500 ft cloud base otherwise fine. We were cleared to make ILS to 6L and when visual below 1500 ft to break right to side step right to 6R. A normal SOP for Guam Agana Joint user military/civilian airfield.
Flew as instructed but once we side-stepped to 6R we lost all glide slope info due outside its 6L splay. Happily stabilised on 6R visual (no landing aids) we saw the outline of a big jet (PANAM 747) holding on the taxiway between the two thresholds. ATC cleared 747 to takeoff 6L. Very dark night so we could only see outline of 747 on taxiway and assumed he was taxiing away from us since ATC had cleared him for takeoff on 6Lb (the long runway).

We came over the 6R fence slightly high which was fortunate because unknown to us the 747 was opening to break-away thrust with his tail facing at 90 degrees to our flight path which was behind him. Suddenly our 737 almost fell out of the sky from 50 feet as the coplot called Christ - bug minus 20 and the 737 rocked laterally at the same time.
I firewalled both engines and pulled nose up to 15 degrees just as the aircraft was about to hit the runway very heavily out of control. The thrust took effect immediately and we got away from the ground as the wheels were about to hit the runway. It was a raw data instrument go-around. After we got over the shock of the near runway impact we were radar vectored back for the ILS for 6L and landed uneventfully.

Reason for the airspeed loss at 50 feet? Despite being cleared for takeoff immediately, the 747 had delayed moving from the taxiway to the threshold of 6L. Maybe the crew were still reading checklists? The crew would not be able to see our aircraft passing over the fence behind them due to the size of the 747. By the time we arrived at the threshold of 6R and within seconds of flaring for the landing, the 747 had opened up to breakaway thrust which caught us at 90 degrees. and 150 metres from the tail of the 747. The turbulence from its jetblast caused our 737 to sink rapidly. Fortunately we were already spooled up on short final which enabled firewall thrust available almost instantaneously. That and the windshear escape maneuver saved our aircraft from possible damage from a heavy landing. Our airline encouraged raw data instrument flying (our FD's were off) which helped during the go-around.

Last edited by Centaurus; 28th Dec 2020 at 13:26.
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 14:12
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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FRA - PEK - AKL with Air China

As an engineer I have a rough understanding of aircraft operations and capabilities. So I don't scare easily...
Then came my flight from FRA to AKL via PEK.
My first flight in a Boeing 787.
And approx over Kyushu started a rollercoaster flight as I have never witnessed before... Up, down, left, right, weightlessness, pushed into the seat and so on, for I guess 1 hour.
When I saw the wings bend up and down, I hoped that the Boeing engineers know their stuff...
Around me people were simultaneously praying and puking while I just sat there and gripped my armrests.
I got 4 warm meals on the flight because I was one of the few who actually ate something later :-)

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Old 28th Dec 2020, 15:24
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Centaurus. That is really scary
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 16:51
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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SLF, Libya, 1984

A dawn flight out of the desert in a F-27 to Tripoli. The flight was a puddle hopper stopping at various locations along the way and at midday we were approaching the last stop, Zella, and the landing was clearly going to be a challenge. It was February, the sandstorm season, and a thousand foot blanket of blowing sand covered the area. At ground level the visibility would be 200m at best and the ground and sky would merge together in the same muddy brown colour.

And so it proved, the first approach was aborted and the second fared no better. As we climbed away and circled around for another go my anxiety began to rise, I knew enough about aviation to understand that it was the third approach that killed you. After that approach failed things became more dynamic, again and again we circled steep and low, struggling to line up visually with the single runway. There were oil rigs all over the place, up to 200 feet AGL, and we barely rose above them. Once I saw the startled face of the Derrickman on the Monkey Board as we swerved past in the murk.

With every failed attempt I was trying hold back my rising sense of panic. True fear was beginning to grip me and I felt utterly helpless. To try and control myself I counted every approach and tried to keep track of where we were. I checked the location of the exits and the dangling first aid kit again and again. Good strong airframe, maybe with a low speed impact I might just make it.

Each low level manoeuvre started to be much more aggressive and by the eighth approach I had started to loose even hope. This is where I die I thought, with a pilot determined to pick up a VIP.

Then after one violent low level lurch it was over. The power came on, the gear came up and we climbed away. At 1000' we burst into the clear sunshine, a deep blue sky from horizon to horizon. It took a while for the fear to leave me completely but it felt as if I had been re-born.

Not all these trips ended up so well:




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Old 28th Dec 2020, 17:03
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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This was mine:- https://www.vc10.net/Memories/IFRcockpit.html
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Old 29th Dec 2020, 17:27
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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define "scary" ..

define " scary " ...

is it one's first flight as a Loadmaster on an African airline B707F operating LHR-FCO-NBO-NLA-LUN ..
when after landing FCO the F/O misread the chart and we exited the runway at the wrong intersection and found ourselves
facing an oncoming Alitalia B747 ..
the headset was almost ablaze with all the shouting - the x BOAC Captain shouting at the F/O .. the F/E shouting, the tower shouting ..
in my mind's eye I can still see the B747 trundling toward us ...and working out how whether if I opened the service door I could escape
before impact ...
Luckily we all stopped just in time and after the push back trucks came and rearranged us , departed for NBO ...


or being on a BA Trident 3 shuttle LHR-GLA departing 27L when shortly after wheels up there was a loud bang from the rear of the aircraft and
the engines noise diminished ... I remembered having worked at BEA when Papa India crashed at Staines ..so I knew being in a Trident in a nose up
attitude shortly after take off with little forward motion does not end well.
Immediately after the bang there was an overwhelming and incredible silence in the cabin.
There was a collective intake of breath and a lot of quiet prayers.
Mine weren't the only hands gripping the arm rests .
Then we banked and with some limited degree of power flew a quick circuit back to land.
Only after landing and pursued by Heathrow's finest was there a sense of panic and relief - and for those brave enough to continue a quick transfer to another aircraft.
Some were unfortunate - they literally were sh1t scared.
There was no announcement or explanation ...

or is it being extra Loadie on an A3F when the pressurisation failed and made an emergency descent to 12,000ft and then finding there
weren't enough oxygen masks ... the flight deck had masks .. so it was strange hearing their breathing but under control.. that was a headache ..

or

in a career of 50 years in aviation ( when it used to be fun ..) in many roles, in many places I could go on and on.
Best advice I was given was " flying is perfectly safe, crashing isn't "
safe aviating
Roger
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Old 29th Dec 2020, 17:39
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Back when DC-10s had a series of door related issues, climbing out from IAD, the entry door started to whistle as the pressure differential increased. Flight attendant at the nearby jump seat started to yell at those of us sitting in the front few rows of economy to move QUICKLY to the back of the plane ! I demurred, thinking that I would be better in my seat with my belt tightly buckled! Before we could discuss further, there was a loud "THUNK" as the door in finally seemed to seal properly. My neighbors came back to their seats. and n we went to LAX without any further incident..
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Old 29th Dec 2020, 20:04
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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A trivial one after all the others here. I had signed up for a paragliding course in the south of France, but the weather hadn't worked out. In compensation the owner of the school said he would take us up a local peak, and we would do a buddy jump. We should be in the air for five to ten minutes.
A long drive on dirt roads up through state forestry, and eventually, we get to the peak, and launch. I'm just a passenger, but we are about 2000ft over the valley floor, when two military jets went past below us.
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 13:36
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Flying as Pilot Assistant on a large Twin Cessna. Flew to France for several days of waiting in a Hotel for the rich passenger to desire a return trip. First night in Hotel meant following the lead of the glorious commander and over-sampling the delights of the bar. Awoke early the next morn to the ringing of the phone. "Get dressed....they want to go home right NOW!". Landed at a southern UK airfield in a state of misery and realised I was waaaay too plastered to drive home.

25 years on 737,747,757,767 and I never broke the 24 hour 'rule' ever again. 3 engine failures, 1 very near airmiss and several "I have control" events.
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 14:20
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MDScot View Post
Back when DC-10s had a series of door related issues, climbing out from IAD, the entry door started to whistle as the pressure differential increased. Flight attendant at the nearby jump seat started to yell at those of us sitting in the front few rows of economy to move QUICKLY to the back of the plane ! I demurred, thinking that I would be better in my seat with my belt tightly buckled! Before we could discuss further, there was a loud "THUNK" as the door in finally seemed to seal properly. My neighbors came back to their seats. and n we went to LAX without any further incident..
Something along those lines. Many, many moons ago I was a tiny little bit late arriving at the docks one morning in Salvador, Brazil and my ship was on its merry way to Santos sans me.
I was put on a a twin engined propeller plane, I have no idea of make or type, that would take me to Rio de Janeiro. One or two remaining brain cells suggests VASP?
Anyways, as the cow's size decreased, the whistle throught the front door, which happened to be next to me, increased until it reached a level sufficient high enought to pull a stewardess out of the cockpit. She calmy reached above my head, pulled out a blanket, rolled it up and offered it to the clearance between door and frame and the delta pressure took care of the rest.
Problem solved, back to cockpit for more flirting. Or so I, aged 16, assumed.
Per
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 15:44
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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PaulRoss may I ask where and when the broken F27 was photographed please?
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 11:14
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ex-cx View Post
PaulRoss may I ask where and when the broken F27 was photographed please?
ex-cx It was at Gialo, Libya, around 28 40'N, 21 30'E. This report seems pretty accurate (the words seem somewhat familiar to me): https://aviation-safety.net/database...?id=19850306-0

I can add a little; a few days after the accident some engineers came and removed the radio and radar equipment but that's all, the rest was left as shown. It was still there as-is a year later beyond which I was posted. I don't know why, as a (non-aviation) engineer, that it should be treated as a write off. The aircraft was fairly new and the only significant damage was the left undercarriage leg collapse and the bent left prop. Surely that is not sufficient to write off the airframe?

Bizarrely about five or seven years later I knew a British Midland pilot whose father ran a spares business. They had been offered a F-27 in the desert and, knowing that I had worked there, he asked me if I knew about it. I was able to give him all the photographs so I guess it really was written off and broken for spares.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 12:01
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by JOSHUA View Post
Almost identical to my experience as a new copilot on an ATR42 - LCY- LBA..
I think I was one of the few (alas) who used this rather strange wet-leased, relatively short-lived operation. Do I remember landing on the now-closed short cross runway 27 at Leeds once ? Thanks for your time on it, hope you found something else quickly after it ended.

Regarding the overall thread, I've been flying all my life and can honestly say I have never encountered a "scary" moment. At all. Some big turbulence but that's straightforward and I'm lucky not to spend too much time in the tropics. First Solo, yes that very one, (C152) and proudly touching down on the grass got an immediate skid to about 45 degrees, must have somehow done some differential braking. OK, all up to me now, steer straight again, on we go ...

Last edited by WHBM; 31st Dec 2020 at 12:22.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 13:26
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by paulross View Post
ex-cx It was at Gialo, Libya, around 28 40'N, 21 30'E. This report seems pretty accurate (the words seem somewhat familiar to me): https://aviation-safety.net/database...?id=19850306-0

I can add a little; a few days after the accident some engineers came and removed the radio and radar equipment but that's all, the rest was left as shown. It was still there as-is a year later beyond which I was posted. I don't know why, as a (non-aviation) engineer, that it should be treated as a write off. The aircraft was fairly new and the only significant damage was the left undercarriage leg collapse and the bent left prop. Surely that is not sufficient to write off the airframe?

Bizarrely about five or seven years later I knew a British Midland pilot whose father ran a spares business. They had been offered a F-27 in the desert and, knowing that I had worked there, he asked me if I knew about it. I was able to give him all the photographs so I guess it really was written off and broken for spares.
Still there until at least 2009, judging from this photo:



Old Fokker around Gialo 59 E airport
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 13:42
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Still there until at least 2009, judging from this photo:



Old Fokker around Gialo 59 E airport
Oh, nice find!
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