what's the scariest moment you've had flying?

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The Green Bean

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2003
I don't if this would come under flying but a man sitting a few rows ahead of me died of a heart attack just minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off.


Nov 5, 2002
First time flying into Sitka, Alaska and seeing the really tiny runway we were supposed to land the boeing 737 on, with only freezing water to greet us if we went too far. Not exactly scary, just kinda like oh shit that's a tiny runway for such a big plane.


Feb 1, 2008
1970's braniff mlps to dms.
Hard rain.
The pilot comes aboard. Looks like he's 15 years old, really!
His cap was too big for his head.
Years later I often wondered if this had been the real "catch me if you can"
guy Frank Abagnale?

During flight, the plane rocked and rolled. Some jocks were kidding about crashing.
Then the arm rest fell off the seat onto the isle. Came unscrewed.
No more kidding about crashing. I think silent praying took over.

I was wondering if the same guy that attached the arm rest also attached the wings.

Another time:
Dallas to dms. The day of the Oklahoma City Bombing.
As I walked thru the Dallas airport, everyone was glued to TV monitors.
I had no idea they were watching breaking news of the bombing.

On the plane, we sat waiting out extremely bad storms in the area.
We sat on the runway 2 hours waiting for a break in the weather.
Pilot said we had to sit and wait, or lose our turn in line, and go back to last place.
Lightening was hitting all around us, like bolts out of the sky directly down to earth.

Finally we got the ok to go.
Takeoff was a nightmare. Lightening everywhere and very heavy rain.
Once in the air, it was terrifying bumpy. The plane was like a paper towel
tube being squeezed from the top, then the sides.
I never knew a plane could take that punishment.

Flying in rain, thunder, lightening and total cloud cover, you could see nothing outside.

The pilot kept saying he would try to find a smoother altitude,
we kept climbing, then descending, over and over while
the plane rocked in every direction.

I noticed a lot of older people getting up and walking around in a nervous rant.
The stewards kept telling people to sit down and fasten seatbelts. They wouldn?t.
It was like they were in a panic and wanted to walk away, but couldn?t.
The stewards started yelling at the people to take their seats.
It was unreal.

Finally, we made it, and landed.
When I exited the plane thru the ramp, and seen family waiting for me,
my dad ask why everyone looked white as ghost and so shaken.
I told him I'd explain later. I was just glad it was over.

On the plus side, flying on a clear sunny day can be the most fun possible.
I love flying.

Back in 1996, coming from L.V. to dms on a late flight, the 4 of us had the entire plane
to ourselves. We were the only 4 people on the plane (besides the pilot and steward).
We each took a section of the plane to ourselves.
I then knew what it must feel like to be a celebrity.


Diamond Member
Jun 20, 2001
None for me. But since I'm from Iraq, I'm sure anytime I fly, every person around ME is having the scariest moment of their life.


Oct 20, 2003
Originally posted by: oiprocs
None for me. But since I'm from Iraq, I'm sure anytime I fly, every person around ME is having the scariest moment of their life.


Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2004
Originally posted by: indamixx99
Originally posted by: BoomerD
I was in 2 Huey helicopters that got shot down. That was...interesting...

Oh, you mean regular commercial flights? By comparison, those have been relatively uneventful. I was on one NWA 707 that skidded on the ice, went about 90 degrees sideways for a ways, and almost went off the runway, but any landing you can walk away from is a good one, so no big deal. (after we all cleaned the crap out of our drawers.)
I think you win...


Feb 5, 2006
Had a hairy moment today flying from Shanghai to Tokyo. On landing at NRT, it was a lot of turbulence, raining and cloudy until very low altitude, I see we pass the airport and plane still going down, I thought maybe there was another runway or something, but that didn't make sense. Then just as we are about to "touch down" the pilot hammers the throttle and we pull up and retract landing gear. The Japanese pilot said in broken English he couldn't land due to weather. Then as we are pulling up, bam, we get hit by lightning on the wing right outside my window. I saw the flash. Then he again in broken English says that the explosion was a lightning and that there is no damage to the plane. So anyways, we fly around in a big circle around Tokyo for 20 min, then he finally lands at NRT. Never had the pilot have to redo the landing approach before.


Golden Member
Apr 19, 2004
The last 20 minutes of a 6 hour flight to Ireland (and on the way back) when I literally though my eardrums were going to explode. It was excruciating.


Apr 22, 2002
The time the pilot landed our plane in zero-visibility. It was so foggy I couldn't see the ground until we had touched down.


Golden Member
Jul 10, 2002
Looking out the window and seeing hydraulic fluid streaming out the number four engine. I definitely woke right up.


Apr 8, 2000
Had a plane lose 10000 feet of altitude due to a turbulence in a matter of minutes. That was one of my first turbelence experiences too, so it was pretty intense.


Platinum Member
Dec 31, 2007
Originally posted by: Starbuck1975
Flying into Sarajevo airport under low visibility conditions and heavy turbulence in a small 6 seater military jet.

For those not familiar with the city:
1. Sarajevo is surrounded by mountains, so the approach to the airport is essentially a dive, not something you want to do in a thick fog.
2. The airport was run by French peacekeepers at the time.


No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
Originally posted by: skyking
I had this long post written up, but thought the better of it:D
LOL, I bet.

Scariest two moments were an aborted take off when we were up to speed. Then an aborted landing where we were close to touching down and the pilot gunned it and pulled up.


Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
My second jump in Airborne school... I was the last person in my stick, which meant I was the first person in the door... it was a bit of a windy day, and there I was standing in the door of a C-141, waiting to go... they called off the jump on that pass, and then came around a second time. Standing there looking out at the ground 1200 feet below, for what seemed like hours but was only minutes, thinking that I was going to walk out the door of that plane... I don't think I can describe the feeling and thoughts that were going through my head at that time... I hate heights and it was a difficult thing to do every single time I jumped....


Platinum Member
Oct 5, 2006
flying over a rain forest on the way to Ghana. extreme turbulance the plane dropped down 50 ft


Diamond Member
Dec 17, 1999
I used to fly a lot for business; all over the world. I have had an engine blow on takeoff ( a 2 engine plane) and they don't fly real well with just one engine. Needless to say we made an emergency landing and managed to get back to the same runway we took off on.

I had one flight in really bad weather where I was sitting in first class upfront. I looked out the window and through the dense cloud cover appears the top of a mountain. At the same time I can hear from the cockpit the auto pilot system start screaming "Pull up, Pull up" and the pilot gave it eveyrthing it had. We came down and landed, but the pilot never even came over the intercom and said a thing. People were freaking out.

I also had a fun little flight on a turboprop out of Houston. We were delayed several hours due to tornados and intense hail, etc. Once we took off I knew it was going to be a bad one. There was so much turbulence even the flight attendants started to vomit. Needless to say it was a real bad flight.

I also had fun on a little turboprop coming back from the Bahamas flying into Miami. There was so mush crosswind that the plane nearly crashed on landing.

I am sure I could think of others...........


Dec 25, 2004
On a 747 on the way to LAX. Was close to the mainland and we hit an air pocket. The plane fell a couple of hundred feet. That was pretty scary. I've taken flight classes and have been an observer on training flights where the student had to recover from a stall. Those can be pretty scary too.