Now Serving Grilled Chicken

October 12, 2007

in Airplane Stories

Back in the 80’s I flew frequently between Las Vegas & San Fran (via Oakland Airport). One of my last flights home to Vegas was memorable. We started down the Oakland Airport runway, our airplane (2-engine) was gathering speed, we launched into the air, and just as the wheel gear pulled up a large shudder went through the plane. Shortly after that, seconds only, a smell of frying chicken went throughout the plane. The two jokesters next to me started kidding me that we were having a light chicken snack (realize that I am the total nervous wreck who absolutely hates to fly but does it anyway).

About another 15 seconds go by and the flight attendant comes on and tells us to prepare for an emergency landing. Of course we had to circle the bay a little (though it seemed like an eternity) while dumping fuel. Oh, did I mention that one of the two engines was on fire because a seagull got into the engine on take-off (those pesky birds)? Finally, we come in for landing, everyone in crash position, runway foamed, fire engines ready, and all was well as we safely landed. As we sat in the bar until midnight – took the airline 6 hours to fly a plane from their hub in Phoenix to Oakland, CA (go figure) – we shared our stories. I especially enjoyed hearing from the man who was next to the engine that caught on fire. He was reluctant to tell the stewardess about the fire for fear of scaring the elderly woman next to him – a true gentleman!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shakinthefat October 9, 2008 at 11:36 am

Another fantastic job by the pilots and flight attendents. Airlines cannot have spare planes laying around airports on reserve, they usually have fly one in which takes time. Be happy that another seagull didn't take out the other engine


Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

shakinthefat, must you comment on every story? you really are an ignorant ass.


Amelia April 3, 2009 at 3:17 pm

At least you didn't end up in the Hudson from losing both engines…


rolf April 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Fried Seagull…

The cabin draws its air from inside the engines, hence the smell.


Mark December 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I will try seagull next time they try to nest on my boat, thanks!!!


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