It started with all the lights on the plane going out. A little while later, when they were restored, the pilot came on the intercom to announce we were going to do an emergency landing.
The pilot said there was some kind of oil problem, resulting in one of the engines not working properly, but that it was not a big deal. He said pilots are trained for that. He asked that we not be alarmed by the fire trucks that would meet the plane on the runway. He said, “don’t panic.” Then he said, “prepare for an emergency landing.”
All as if an emergency landing was par for the course. Normal. A non-panic inducing activity.
I’m sure if you look up reasons to panic, one of the first ones is “plane making emergency landing”.
So, I turned on my phone. I figured that in a world of emergency landings and failed engines, my cell phone signal was a minor issue to deal with and I would be damned if I wasn’t going to at least try and contact my loved ones. So out went a few text messages while I braced for impact.
Landing was not so bad, but we did not brake. We ran the runway out [surrounded by fire trucks], turned and ran the runway again in the opposite direction before slowing down to pull into the gate [still surrounded by fire trucks].
We disembarked as quickly as possible and in the process and we were thanked for not panicking, which truly was a feat. I can’t say that no one did. Just that no one mutinied and panicked openly, except for me who was crying. Well, I am the only one I *know* of.
It was almost midnight by the time I got in… and well, suffice it to say my nerves were/are shot. Not a way to end a whirlwind travel experience [and that doesn't even include my experience in Newark].
All I can say is that I am very thankful for it to end the way it did. That I am here one more day to experience all of this world. But for now I am holing up in the fetal position in my bed… trying to forget yesterday and recharge my nerves to endure another day on Earth.