Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
September 27th, 2010
08:25 AM ET

"Brace for impact!" Passengers face nightmare on flight

Passengers aboard a Delta flight from Atlanta, Georgia to White Plains, New York got a scare when their plane had to make an emergency landing due to landing gear problems.

A couple of passengers captured the flight's scary moments on video. You may see the full story here.

You'll hear them tell their story on CNN NewsRoom in the 11am eastern hour.

We want to hear from you. Tell us your air tavel nightmare stories and we'll share some of them on the air between 11am and 1pm eastern.

Filed under: Josh Levs • Tony Harris
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I use to love to fly when I was in the Navy but now no way about 30 yrs. ago I had two different encounters both involving Delta 737 the first was when I first flew Delta and when we were landing I had a window wing seat and when I seen the back part of the jet engine drop so did my heart it was suppose to do that but I had no ideal the second was when I was flying a Delta 737 and having a double Jack and coke at about 40.000 feet when we hit a air pocket and we fell about 10.000 feet straight down my drink was sitting on the chair table when it lifted in the air and turned upside down and spilled on my lap what a wast of a good drink I quit flying Delta after that .

    September 27, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  2. Jennifer

    I studied in Granada, Spain for a semester and my flight home was a nightmare. It was a short flight from Granada to Madrid and right when we took off there was this screeeeching sound on the left side of the plane and then all of a sudden it went quiet and it just felt like we were gliding. I started crying and the flight attendants brought me water. We turned around and landed again back at the runway. it turns out there was a BIRD! that was sucked into the engine and the pilot turned the engine off so it wouldnt overheat, so that was the sudden silence. No one on the plane started complaining about missing connections until they felt the wheels on the ground, and then they let loose on the poor people back at the gate.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  3. Jane

    I have an odd feeling watching this story because I went through almost exactly the same thing many years ago on a flight leaving Germany for the U.S. The landing gear wouldn't come down right, and we had a tough landing, with the wings going wildly from side to side. Our wingtip did not touch the runway, though it came within inches.

    But we had no cabin attendants telling us what to do, they had disappeared when it became apparent the plane was in trouble. The pilot was so rattled, he forgot to translate his announcements into English, leaving many people on the plane completely confused and frightened about what was happening. And we had to circle for nearly four hours dumping out that big load of fuel for a transatlantic flight and trying repeatedly to get the landing gear to come down.

    Eventually, those of us on the plane who spoke English (a group of high school students!) went around and told the other passengers what was going on and also spread the word that we should take off high heels and put our heads down because there was nobody else to tell them.

    And then we had to get back on another plane five or six hours later to go home.

    Awful, awful experience, but luckily no tragedy.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  4. Alexandra

    I remember flying to Texas when I was 11 years old and the wing flaps on one wing failed to operate as we landed. Though I do not know which airline it was at the time, our ridiculously fast yet successful land gave me faith in America's pilots, especially when I saw emergency vehicles blanketing the runway waiting for the potential disaster that, fortunately, never happened.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  5. Kenyette Jones

    In 2001, I was flying on TWA. Prior to takeoff, he smell of gasoline was making me a little sick to my stomach. About 10 minutes after we departed SFO, there was a huge explosion that shook the plane. I was sitting across from the wing and could see a fire outside the window. Everyone was screaming. I noticed the cabin fill up with smoke from the front and the rear of the plane. Just before the smoke filled air reached the middle of the plane where I was seated, I noticed the smoked just sucked back out and disappeared. I then realized we were in a nose dive (which I later learned was purposely done by the pilot to pressurize the cabin). As you can imagine, everyone was screaming even more! When we came out of the nose dive the pilot came on and said we were having engine trouble and were flying back to SFO for an emergency landing. The ride was very unsteady the whole way back, dipping side to side, because we were missing an engine on the right. Eventually, we got back and the pilot did a great landing considering. Although I was shaken by the experience, it made me feel even more secure flying. We never used to hear about these complications flying and I don't think people realize that pilots can handle such unexpected catastrophies.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  6. Than Tulsa, OK

    Once on a flight between Atlanta to Tulsa June 1, 2007 we were landing during an intense thunderstorm and we could see lightning everywhere outside the windows, the lightning looked closer than the edge of the wing. It probably only lasted like that for 3 or 4 minutes but it was intense.

    Then about 3 minutes before landing the plane dropped straight down several hundred feet abruptly and the flight attendant fell on her face in the aisle. After that she crawled the rest of the way to her seat on her hands and knees. I thought we were going to crash right before the airport.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  7. Kevin

    Several years ago as a passenger on a PHX-ATL flight and while at cruise altitude an engine failed. We diverted to Albuquerque and made a very uneventful and safe landing. However while on final approach a number of passengers were sobbing, crying out to others and being very dramatic. After the smooth landing and taxiing to the gate people were on their phones describing the 'crash landing' and 'almost dying' experiences. The embellishment and exaggeration by many passengers of this event caused me to shake my head in disbelief.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  8. Janet M.

    Years ago I was flying the old Eastern Airlines with my baby daughter. We went in as for a landing but came back up again. Very soon we were told that indications were that one wheel had not come down. The almost-landing was so those on the ground could try to see if it was or was not down, but were unable to do so as this was at night. We circled as they went through all the emergency procedures with us - then we went in for the landing. It turns out that the wheel was down and locked so we landed normally. I always felt very grateful to the crew and pilots for their calm throughout that time.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  9. Tina Johnson

    Most disturbing was on the ground actually, waiting in the Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) for my Mum visiting from Montreal, plane was to arrive but the board changed to "See Agent" - OMG ! That's not a good one. Went to check, apparently the flight had been diverted after being struck by a bird causing a cracked windshield and and she was changed to another plane landing at the other Houston Airport – Hobby, so had to head over there.. but "see agent" gives you a jolt when you are expecting the flight to arrive!

    September 27, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  10. charles

    It is important to note that, though the headline says Delta, this flight was operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a REGIONAL AIRLINE. This is the third time that we have safely landed an aircraft with landing gear malfunction. That's 3 for 3. It's time for some recognition.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  11. Mary Lee Murray

    Hi Josh,

    If there is a way to add a little levity to a very scary situation, I have to tell you what happened to my husband and I on a flight from St. Louis Kansas City back in 2000. As we had to take this route often to travel between KC and Indianapolis, we decided just this one before boarding to inquire at the kiosk if we could move up to First Class if there were empty seats. We were so happy when they said we could. So there we were in Row 2 for the first time. The plane takes off without incident and then all of a sudden we can hear this loud sound like a HUGE Margarita blender. We watched as all the flight staff tried to calmly walk up to the cockpit door. We could see them all huddled up there knocking on the door. Then one of the flight attendants walked back by and I heard him say, "Well, it looks like we'll be flying "low and slow". The Captain came on and said they could not get the landing gear UP; but, they were going through the flight instruction book and had decided to "forge forward to Kansas City". I burst into tears and said to my husband, "OH GREAT, the first time we get to fly first class and now not only are we going to die but we're going to be the first to go. We should have never asked!" Anyway, my husband and the staff decided that for "medicinal purposes" they should start serving me some alcoholic beverages. By the time we landed "without incident", I was "just peachy".

    September 27, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  12. Mike

    I am a Regional Airline Captain, and the first thing I noticed about this report what how inaccurate it is. First, I find it interesting that when a plane crashes and something goes wrong, if it is a regional airline that operated for a major airline carrier the media reports it immediately. When something goes right, it was a major airline carrier. Only "Sully" and people his age can fly airplanes safely, I guess. You incorrectly and inaccurately reported this was a Delta airlines flight, when in fact it was regional........YES REGIONAL pilots (remember us, the ones who supposedly don't have any experience) who performed like the professionals they are trained to be. It would be nice for you folks to give credit where credit is due, and also to be more careful in your reporting. Atlantic Southeast Airlines was the flight operating the Delta "Connection" flight, and those pilots did a great job.

    Second, I think the FAA should look into the fact that Chase Benzenberg violated the Federal Aviation Regulations by operating a hand-held electronic device at an unauthorized time in the flight. The FAA should take note that this was occurring, and I was shocked to see the guy on the news showing his name. It's a good thing his camera didn't interfere with radio communications, or navigation equipment while he was getting his award winning footage.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  13. Tina Johnson

    My worst flight every was leaving Jamaica after my Honeymoon – would have been a week after Oct. 19, 1991 Lol – 3 hours on the Tarmac in Montego Bay due to mechanical problems on an Air Canada plane, another hour or two checking out the problems again when we stopped at Kingston to pick up a few more peeps, then the worst storm I have ever been through on a plane with the worst turbulens – tossed about like an amusement ride – not one major mishap but the combination made this newlywed couple super glad to get back on Terra firma.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  14. Tina Johnson

    Oh yeah forgot this one .. LOL how about a delay because they had to replace the blackbox? That happened once, great way to start a flgith

    September 27, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  15. Diane Small

    In 1978, I was on a U.S. Air (I believe) flight from Philadelphia to Boston. The plane began dashinng down the runway in preparation of getting off the grounnd. The front door of the plane, where passengers had entered, was still open. A stewardess ran madly to the door and slammed it shut. The trip took off and landed safely. I was upset that I never heard an alarm go off that the door was still open, so I tried calling customer service at the airline a few times, but no one ever answered the phone.
    On another flight, probably also U.S. Air, around 1978 as well, flying also from Philadelphia to Boston, the plane had just taken off when the pilot announced that the plane had just lost its hydraulic fuel, but that we would not crash. The plane bounced onto the runway, but it was a safe landing. We remained on the runway about 2 hours, while repairs were made to the plane. They showered us with free food and drinks.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  16. James M

    "Brace for impact?" Screaming "Heads Down! Stay Down!" for the duration? That added to the horror of the situation, I'm sure.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  17. Diane Small

    Back in 1975, I believe, I was flying from Boston to Washington, D.C. I no longer recall the airline. A strong storm came up in the atmosphere where we were flying. The plane was bouncing every which way. The pilot announced that he was advised not to land at the airport in D.C. that we were scheduled to land at. The controllers told him to land at the other airport (I don't recall where that was, maybe a second airport in D.C.). But the pilot said that he has refused because he felt that "cross winds" (I don't remember the correct term) would be just as dangerous in landing at that airport. So the pilot took off to another airport, I believe in Virgina. The storm in the atmosphere was still severe and the plane was bouncing about; I looked out my window and could only see a forest of trees. Well, we did land safely and we were bused to D.C. However, the plane behind us crashed into a mountain or hill and everyone aboard the plane perished. It was mentioned in the news that remains were found among trees, so I suspect those trees that seemed so close out my window, were that mountain or hill the plane behind us crashed into.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  18. Rita Higgins

    I was on a business trip coming back from California with a coworker on a very large plane (do not remember what airline) and headed for Bradley Field in Connecticut with not very many passengers and none of the landing gear would come down. We flew out over the Atlantic and dumped a great deal of fuel before coming back to Connecticut and circled around while the ground operation put spotlights on the landing gear while the pilots were trying to fix things. After a lot of anxious time had ended we did make a succesful landing! It was the most stressful flight I have ever had. I managed to drive home and relate my story the next morning to my spouse. Needless to say I did not fly for a long time after that.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  19. Samuel Jones

    From College Station, Texas to Washington DC DCA Sept 5, 1967, my first flying trip to Gallaudet College, Washington DC, Non-existed
    (spell Bruiff airline) boeing 737 engine was broken and forced us to eat our lunch at Nashville Aiport so From Tusla, Okay flight plane was ordering to pick up us for Dulles Airport instead DCA. Funny I left in early night morning at CLL and arrived DCA via free bus and taxied to Gallaudet College as sun set down! It was longest trip in flying in my entire life.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  20. Barry Roth

    Flying is so safe, you have to go back 32 years on some comments to describe problems!

    October 9, 2010 at 5:49 am |