Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28

Thread: Your Irregular Flying Experiences: Diverts, Emergencies, Delays, Oh my!

  1. #1
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    12,470

    Your Irregular Flying Experiences: Diverts, Emergencies, Delays, Oh my!

    I was wondering what you folks have experienced in terms of what airlines call an "irregular operation", including things like diversion, extended delays, inflight emergencies or anything like that. How did the airline handle it?

    I have had a couple things, but mostly as an employee of the airline. A plane breaking at an Air Force base in Qatar causing me to need to sleep in a tent on the base for a couple days was one thing (pretty amazing actually).

    One time we were flying to NAS Sigonella in Sicily when the pilot had a minor argument with ATC after confusing directions and the controller put us to the back of the arrivals line. We didn't have enough gas for that so we diverted to Naples. A quick gas and go.

    Both of the above brought about some great spotting opportunities (albeit visual with no pics), especially the times I spent in Qatar.

    Not long ago I had a 2 hour 42 minute taxi out of JFK due to weather. Good pilot updates made it more tolerable for myself and the passengers.

    I've had a ton of other odd experiences, but not much that I recall that caused any diversions or other craziness.

    I like hearing how airlines have handled various situations over the years, so please share your stories!
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  2. #2
    Senior Member yankees368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,562
    In probably 2009 or 2010, I was headed back to Michigan from LGA on a Delta MD88. It was July 5th, and one of those typical New York heatwave weeks, where the temp at LGA hovered around 100'. They boarded us in very small groups so no one would have to wait in the unaircon'd jet bridge. Well, turns out it didn't matter. Just after takeoff, there was a weird smell and some smoke towards the rear of the cabin. Right after that, the worst thing happened, the air conditioner shut off. Because the pilots did not know what caused the malfunction, they decided not to continue on to DTW, instead circle around NYC to burn some fuel and go back to LGA. We circled, for about 45 minutes, in a disgusting metal tube with no air conditioning. It was nasty. We landed safely, Delta reps were at the gate to hand us vouchers, and we got a new plane within minutes.

    Back in probably 2008, I was flying BUF-JFK in the middle of the winter. Normally, operations at Buffalo never slow down due to snow, but they do when your destination also has snow. We boarded on time, but missed out takeoff slot because deicing took longer than expected. We remained in the aircraft for a bit, eventually deiced again, but just like last time, missed our takeoff slot. Our next takeoff slot was not for several hours, so the pilot did something interesting. He went into the terminal, bought 125 sandwiches from the terminal, and had the crew distribute it to passengers. Uhm, yea....awesome. More time went on, and jetblue needed the gate, so we had a choice. Head back into the terminal and wait, or remain on the aircraft as we got a tour of the field. Of course, I stayed on board for the ride! We eventually got where we were going, but about 8 hours late...for a 45 minute flight.

    Hey, at least it was a special!
    Follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RomNYC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Away from home
    Posts
    499
    Not sure this falls into this category, but I had an unpleasant xp with Delta (although survivable). Boarded at JFK on my way to BCN, and a "technical issue" required some work. It lasted over 3 hours, with 250 pax on board, without any information whatsoever (aside the technical issue part). Might sound like nothing, but people were getting a little anxious. At least give us some info, and ideally disembark us while you work on the a/c.

  4. #4
    Senior Member hiss srq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Around here and near there.
    Posts
    5,565
    August 14 1996.... The scene.... a bustling LGA terminal, the time, 400PM..... An aunt and nephew sit at a food venue (which might I add had a etched glass wall mural of a Delta L1011) I look at our ticket and notice the flight number.... Delta 801..... This was mind you about a month after TWA 800 exploded and my aunt was a horrible flyer as it was..... So me being the dick I am even at like 10 years old had to make light of it to her.... Fast forward 2 hours.... we are pushing back from gate 4 in the Delta terminal in a 727 (one which had a snazzy looking 1996 summer olympics sticker on the fuse below the cheatline)... We take the runway after a 30 minute taxi and off we go down 13 at LGA.... Into the right turn and than at 2.4 into the left.... As we rolled out of the left turn we felt a pronounced thud followed by a clear reduction in accelleration and climb.... After about 5 minutes the captain comes on and explains that the number 2 had just experinced what he termed a very strong compressor stall and it potentally damaged the engine... As a result we were going to dump 15,000 pounds of fuel and divert to JFK..... So, off we went out off of Robert moses at what from memory I would estimate was less than 10,000 feet burning circles for 45 minutes or more while fuel came from the dump ports. (I was seated in 15F with a very clear view) We finally came around and flew an abbreviated visual to 13R where FD proceeded to examine the airplane... Later that night around 2AM when we landed in TPA there were a bunch of news cameras which at the time could still get to gate areas. It turned out later that the engine shat out about 20 pounds of fan blades on some guy who worked for the Ports car and house in Flushing.
    Southwest Airlines-"Once it pop's it's time to stop" Southwest Airlines-"Our Shamu's are almost real" Southwest Airlines -"We blow our top real easy" Southwest Airlines- "You can't top us..... really"

  5. #5
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    12,470
    Dude, I remember that on the news!
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mateo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Where the PARK routing crosses the Expressway Visual 31
    Posts
    1,590
    I've had 2 unplanned landings in roughly 125 commercial segments; SFO-EWR on an Eastern 757 sometime in the mid 80s diverted to MCI on a Medical, and TLV-JFK on an El Al 742 in August 1994 diverted to YMX (Montreal-Mirabel) for fuel. That was the only time I flew that segment westbound on the -200, but anecdotally, I've heard they rarely made the trip nonstop, despite what the timetable said!

    I can also think of 2 go-arounds (LY 744 TLV-EWR 2002 and US 734 FLL-DCA 2007) and an RTO (FL DC9 ATL-PHL 1999), but those aren't as notable.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Henderson, NV
    Posts
    33
    Back in '03, my grandmother passed away. I flew LAS-PHL-ISP on US to attend the funeral, and was booked the morning after the funeral to fly the reverse routing back to the LAS. The afternoon of my grandmother's funeral, a raging blizzard began and lasted through the night. Needless to say, my flight was cancelled, and I couldn't get re-booked on the return segments for 3 days after I was supposed to return. On top of all this, I had a cold when I left LAS, and from the pressure changes on the flights home, I got an ear infection in my right ear from the fluids apparently not draining properly in my inner ear. Oh, yeah....I had never taken ammoxocillan (sp?) prior to this, and I found out the hard way that I was allergic to this antibiotic after visiting my doc to have my ear checked out. Other than a funeral, a raging blizzard,a three day delay in my return, an ear infection, and an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, that trip was pretty un-eventful.......
    My name is Disco Stu and I love disco music.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hiss srq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Around here and near there.
    Posts
    5,565
    Phil,
    I have been digging for years to find articles or footage from it, I know they exist, there were a zillion news cameras both in NY and at TPA when we finally got in....
    http://dms.ntsb.gov/aviation/Acciden...2013120000.pdf

    Last record I can find for the bird has her listed as A6-RSA operating for a company called "Red Star" in Djibouti.
    Southwest Airlines-"Once it pop's it's time to stop" Southwest Airlines-"Our Shamu's are almost real" Southwest Airlines -"We blow our top real easy" Southwest Airlines- "You can't top us..... really"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mateo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Where the PARK routing crosses the Expressway Visual 31
    Posts
    1,590
    There's a listing for the 727 as UP-B2704 with "Mega Air" out of Kazakhstan. There's a picture of it online from February on the ramp at Fujeirah in the UAE with all of the hydraulics drooped. I was actually at Fuji about 2 months ago, but the whole place is a surrounded by a 20 foot wall and some very aggressive police, so I came away with nothing.

  10. #10
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Me like the Robert Downey Jr of cooooooookies!
    Posts
    5,746
    Recently on Jetblue, had a delayed flight so we booked standby on another. While at the gate on standby, the a/c at the gate for another flight went mechanical. They advised an 1 hr delay but started boarding 15 min later.

    Underpromise, overdeliver!

    A few years ago, had a rejected T/O on Jetblue at FLL. I did post about it a while back. About an hour delay but again, they over promised and under delivered. Also, they allowed passengers to get off the plane and stay overnight in case they didnt 'trust' the airplane!

    October 2002. Flying AA MD-80 to LGA. About to land when a few feet over the runway, the pilot spooled up and took off again. The A/C did not clear the runway ahead so the PIC aborted with a few to touchdown.

    I was elated but nearby PAX were complaining the pilot should have just landed (schmucks). The bonus for us was that we flew out to the GWB, left left along the Hudson and were afforded a view around all of Manhattan at 2200 feet. Toward the end of the island, I was afforded my first and only view of the twin tower footprints, all lit up from construction lights.

    Lastly, were due to fly out of LHR, standby on AA on the day of this huge fuel explosion outside London. For the first few hours, people thought it was a terrorist act. Anyway, being lowly airline employee standbys, we took a chance. The flights were overbooked and we were given F class seats to JFK on an AA 777. Worth a days delay of travel
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  11. #11
    Member clear_prop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    SJC
    Posts
    46
    Awhile back, I was flying LGA-ATL on Eastern (I said it was awhile back) and we had to stop for fuel somewhere in the Carolinas (maybe CLT?). I have no idea how we didn't have enough fuel to make LGA-ATL.

    In 2010 I was flying Cathay Pacific and had a mx issue on a 747 out of HKG cause a 6hr delay before boarding. Food vouchers and plenty of plane spotting made the time go fast.

    Back in 1992, I was on an Air France A340 and had a nice 4hr on the plane delay due to mx. The plane was five days out of the factory and had the worst seat pitch I've ever encountered. After a few dozen reboots of the plane, we finally made it to JFK.

    Flying Aeroflot domestically in the USSR, I was glad the Tu-154 has six wheels on each main gear since four of each six had cords showing. The recommendation was to try and sleep on the plane so that you wouldn't feel it when we crashed.

    I've had many 3+ hour delays at JFK, some on the plane and some before boarding. I consider leaving JFK within a few hours of scheduled departure to be normal.

    Got delayed 3hrs into SFO because SFO was landing the 19s (rare) and Obama was in town yet again screwing up air traffic.

    A few medicals, but no diversions.

    Surprisingly for all that I fly, I don't have a single go-around in a commercial plane. I make up for that when I'm PIC in a bugsmasher though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    4,851
    Mother Nature involved in all my delays!!

    Mid 90s/Feb heading to Florida from LGA with wife and 2 young sons. Nice snowstorm brewing as we taxied out to depart. Apparently we were in the line too long and they had to go back to the gate and de-ice! Oh this aint good I thought. But after the de-icing was over we taxied out again and departed Runway 4 to a beautiful and sunny Florida. Later heard the airport closed soon after we left!! Whew!!

    July 2010, arrive JFK for our Air France flight to Paris w/connection to Rome!! SEVERE thunderstorms that afternoon but our flight was for 6PM and by 5PM skies were clearing!! What we didnt know was that our plane which was flying in from another location was hit by lightning!!!!!! So they had to do a meticulous check of the whole plane from stem to stern!! I'm thinking we aint getting out of here!! But around 10PM we started boarding and were up in the air by 11. Of course we missed our connection in Paris, had to rebook which went smoother than I anticipated. But our 3PM Alitalia flight to Rome was also delayed. Why? SEVERE thunderstorms in Paris!!! Were they following us across the Atlantic?? Eventually all went smoothly and we had to greatest time in Italy!!

    Last October, in Tucson visiting my son for 4 days, big USC-UA football game (Upset by UA, woo hoo). But brewing and getting closer was Hurricane Sandy!! Thought I'd get out in time with a US Air 2:30 flight out of Phoenix on Sunday but wake up Sunday morning and that was cancelled!! In fact nothing flying into the area though somehow the NY Giants charter from Dallas was able to get in late, but anyways...... Finally rebooked a United flight on Thursday morning to Dulles with connection to LGA which just reopened on Thursday!! Left Tucson at 5AM for the ride to Phoenix. The PHX-Dulles flight delayed a few hours so they rebooked my connection to LGA. Departed Phoenix on a pretty empty plane which was very cool as I had a window seat and row all to myself. Arrived Dulles my connection to LGA would be about two hours late as the plane was arriving late from another location. At that point didnt care just wanted to get home!! Depart Dulles at 10:30 and after a flight over an eerie dark NJ/NY we touched down on Runway 22 at 11:30PM. A very long day but theres no place like home even without power!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ari707's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    West Hempstead, NY
    Posts
    1,153
    back in 1997-8 flying LGA-MIA-GCM flt LGA-MIA aborted Take-off at LGA due to what the pilot said was the ground proximity warning going off while we were still on the ground. taxied back to the gate sat on the plane for about 45 min while the problem was repaired then waited about another hour for a slot to take off. miss original connection to GCM but was put on the next one a couple of hours later.

    2007 was part of the Jetblue ice storm. On the day of the storm my wife was to fly JFK-MCO early morning for business meetings, didn't end up leaving till 11;30 pm from EWR.

    The next day I had a 4:00 flt to MCO with my 2 kids at the time. All day the flight showed on time, as the taxi came I checked one last time and it showed canceled. Called Jetblue as well as every other airline to find a flight from anywhere in the Northeast to anywhere in Fla. final as I was about to get the kids in the car and drive (didn't want them to miss disney) the Jetblue agent said a new flight just popped up on her screen a 10:00 pm to MCO, booked us on it. got to JFK around 6 to be sure place was a zoo. didn't board till almost 1am took off at 3am on a Ryan B757 chartered by Jetblue.

    a few week later we all received an email from jetblue and got credits for the cost of the trip ended up using them for a trip to Aruba that May.
    Overheard on JFK TOWER - S Turns are fine, U-Turns are bad....

  14. #14
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wappingers Falls, New York, United States
    Posts
    514
    Of all the trips that I have taken, only one stands out as being out of sorts. It was back in 1987 flying Continental BDL-EWR-IAH-SAN; SFO-EWR-BDL. It was the first and last legs that killed us, everything else was smooth sailing. On the outbound, our Saab 340 encountered thunderstorms between Hartford and Newark that we diverted around bouncing the whole way in what I can only describe as severe turbulence. The flight ended up taking about 2 hours, or roughly double what it was blocked at.

    On the way home, our evening flight on a 727 was delayed until nearly 5 am the next morning by a series of broken aircraft and timed-out crews. At one point we were told that the aircraft leaving for someplace in Florida would be returning with the crew for our flight. Of course the airport more or less shut down for the overnight hours so pretty much the only food available to the crowd of travelers was the loaf of sourdough bread that my parents were bringing back from San Francisco. Of course no hotel rooms or any other form of compensation was offered. Once we arrived in Hartford after what was barely a 15 minute flight, we disembarked to an equally weary-looking crowd hoping to fly to Newark. All night, my father complained that they should have just chartered a bus or 2 and driven us to Hartford. In the time that it took for the airplane to go and fetch the crew in Florida, they could have made a round-trip to Hartford and everybody would have been in the right place hours before the flights ended up getting them there.
    Ben Granucci, Wappingers Falls, NY
    NYCAviation Senior Editor & Director
    On Twitter @blgranucci
    More photos on Flickr
    [email protected]

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    123
    Two of my more amusing experiences (looking back on them) happened when I was flying 19 passenger turboprops early in my career.

    On the first, I was flying a Jetstream into Seattle. The weather was crappy and we missed the approach and began a divert to Portland, Oregon. As we were climbing out through three or four thousand feet after the missed I was trying to coordinate the diversion, get a clearance for PDX, and take care of all the things that needed to be done. I felt a tap on my shoulder (back then there was no flight attendant so we flew with the cockpit door open) and there was an older German gentleman asking about his connecting flight. I told him I didn't have any information, but he kept asking about how he was going to either get back to Seattle or get to his destination from Portland. I ended up having to get blunt with him and tell him to go sit down and that the gate agent in PDX would have that information. There was nothing I could do about re-booking him. And besides, I had to fly the airplane...

    The second was in a Metroliner flying into Midway airport in Chicago. During descent we lost the fuel control unit on the right engine, which basically limits the power to a range between 25% and 75%. Since we couldn't pull the power back to idle, we had to shut the engine down. To add stress to the incident, we had the FAA onboard. We shut it down, declared the emergency, and landed. The amusing part came when we turned to clear the runway and I looked behind us and saw the fire equipment trailing us. The vehicle that was leading the pack was the mobile stairs. I have no idea what they were planning to do, since on the metroliner they could have pulled up to the side of the airplane, walked to the top of the stairs, and taken a healthy step down onto the top of the fuselage. But, by God, they were right there in front!

    That was the beginning of a long week that I'm still paying for. We stayed the night in Chicago while they replaced the fuel control unit during a major blizzard. When the weather cleared the next day, we flew back to St. Paul, Minnesota and the captain and I headed for the apartment. Soon after we got back the phone rang and it was my wife telling me they were inducing labor. So I showered, threw some clothes into a suitcase and beat feet to the MSP airport to try to catch a flight to Seattle and then the last flight to Spokane, WA. I got to the hospital about 1am and the darn kid didn't show up for another day and a half. All went well and that baby starts her second year at Texas A&M next month.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •