Tuesday morning, 5/8/07 started as any last minute trip would start. The Friday before I found out I would be going to New York for work to meet with a Newsday reporter. Now for those of you not familiar with Strong Island, Newsday is the bee's knees of journalism. So off I go, 7 am to arrive to the airport to board flight #1003. All signs pointed to the unimaginable --I was going to be taking off on time.
As I continued to read my book I realized that we had not taken off yet, despite the announcements that we were preparing for take off. 15 minutes later the pilot informs us that there was a minor technical error, but all was well now and we will be taking off shortly. And take off we did!!!
Until about 3/4 of the way up something happened. The noise could only be described as an engine blowing out. Which is pretty much perfect, the jolt of the mystery noise felt like we clipped a large bird. The jolt also resulted in the woman to my left to jump on my lap.
After the noise, the plane was quiet - the men looked panicky and kept looking around. The woman next to me, after she got off my lap, was muttering something. Me- I continued to read. I chose to ignore everything and continue to enjoy my book and 36 DirectTV channels in my glorious leather seats. That was until I noticed the new noise, or lack thereof. We were gliding- back and forth and it seemed to have an eerie silence- as if we lost power. But I continued to read, it was only after I looked out my window and noticed we were circling the ocean that I began to worry. Thoughts started rushing through my head- where the hell did she say the raft was? Are they preparing for a water landing? Do I grab my ID and put it on my person? Yup it’s true- it got that dark. But yet, I continued to flip pages. I did not want to appear worried.
Well between the first assessment of the original noise (engine blowing out) and the new non-noise (silence) it turns out I should be an engineer because after the fourth circle over the water the pilot came on again to inform us that the “little bump” we might have felt was an engine failing and we have lost power in that engine. The details are a little blurry since the woman next to me kept saying, “Just don’t tell us, just don’t tell us, no don’t tell us.” But from what I could gather, the ‘good news’ was that they can land with the power that remains and we will be turning back to Boston. It’s at this point I stop reading and start looking like a crazy person- I immediately start laughing hysterically and crying.
We get back to Boston and they actually have another, fully functional plane ready to get us to NY. We board that plane and before we take off the pilot (same crew as the first plane) gets back on the speaker and starts with “All right folks, let’s try this again.”
After that, I get to NY with out any additional incidents. Once I arrive to the school I sit down and have lunch with the staff and teachers after about 30 minutes I find out in passing that, “That sucks about the Newsday reporter canceling.”
Yes, sucks it does.