Friday, April 27, 2007

Bird Strike In IAH

Yesterday was an interesting day at work. I had just finished a New Orleans turn and was on my way to Seattle. Shortly after take off, one of the engines started making this horrible noise - kinda like what you would imagine a blender would sound like if you dropped a rodent in it. Well, that's exactly what had happened only it was an eagle or vulture or some other large bird that had flown into our right engine around 600 feet . We were completely loaded down with passengers who now all of a sudden were peering over the backs of their seats at me then looking out the window then back to me then back out the window. All the while I just sat there with my pleasant calm look on my face and silently wondered what the hell was going on. One passenger asked me if the engine always made that noise. I just smiled and shrugged and said 'sometimes'. Then she asked me if I was concerned about it and I smiled and said 'no, not really'. We gave the flight deck a few moments before I called up to them to find out what was happening. The captain finally announced to the passengers what was going on. We were full of fuel since we'd just taken off for the 5 hour flight and had to burn a little of it off before we could land so we circled for about half an hour then landed back at IAH with a huge applause and a welcoming committee of fire trucks and a host of other emergency vehicles. Inflight managers met us at the jetway as we opened the aircraft door. They were concerned - wanting to know if we were 'ok', did we need to speak to anyone (for counseling), were we ok to continue flying, etc? I was thinking maybe it had been more serious than we had known but at any rate, all was well. We unloaded passengers and luggage and quickly boarded another plane which, upon startup, had a fuel leak. Not to worry - that was fixed - and after a 3 hr delay, we were on our way to Seattle. Amazingly, all of our passengers were in a good mood and were real troopers. But of course, the liquor drawer was nearly empty by the end of the trip. Alas, just another day at work in the life of a flight attendant.

Unfortunately (or fortunately...), this was not my day as a flight attendant. I stole this from my good friend from training, and thought it was better and more exciting than my MCO turn from hell. DisneyWorld may be the happiest place on earth, but getting there surely is not.

I hate Florida. And peanut butter.

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