Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 947

Ever seen someone take a tumble on a plane? 

Image borrowed from Google Images
In the news this week an air hostess sustained head injuries after falling from an aircraft in Sweden.  Luckily for her the plane hadn't left the ground yet. 

Apparently as she was getting the flight ready for take off she inadvertently opened the rear door and fell 3 metres to the tarmac. Ouch! No one is sure why she opened the door, or how she fell, but given it was a windy day there is some speculation that the weather may have played a part.  You can read about it over at

Reading this article had me remembering my own "hostess goes for a stack" moment a few years ago.  

I was flying from Albuquerque to LA in a smallish aircraft when our plane ran into the slip stream of the jet ahead of us.  

Now, before I go into detail, can I just tell you that the older I get the worse I am at flying.  I used to be quite nonchalant about air travel, but rather than getting braver with age, I am actually becoming more "concerned" about the whole thing.  So being on this flight had me a touch on edge.  

The plane was two seats wide on each side with one aisle and just the one air hostess. I was seated next to a four(ish) year old boy, with his Mum and baby brother across the aisle.  I had the window.  Everything was going along wonderfully and the air hostess was very cheery and pleasant.  We had already eaten and she was in the process of answering buzzers and bringing extra pretzels when our mishap occurred.

It was like there was some sort of explosion and the plane tilted hard to the right and just start careening downwards. When the boom sounded it was like someone had run into us.  Now the whole thing probably took less than 10 seconds, but the movie went for at least 10 minutes in my mind.

I recall seeing the air hostess being thrown to the ground smacking her face on an arm rest in the process.  I also recall seeing clouds outside my window as my head hit the wall. I remember clutching onto my arm rests  in white-knuckled fear and hearing the little boy next to me let out a whimper. I wanted to comfort him but I had no words. I was trying to hold back the tears when I heard his mother speak.  "It's ok honey, the plane just hit a wave. Just like at the beach when we get dumped.  The plane just got dumped. It's all ok now."

In my mind we were still hurtling towards the earth.  But with Mum's comforting wisdom I realised the plane was back on track and we were upright again. People started cheering and the air hostess was being helped up by a passenger.  She had a red mark across her nose and it was starting to swell.  It may have been broken, but she managed to smile through it and continue on her rounds.  

I wondered briefly if she'd been knocked out who would get my pretzels and that drink I'd asked for?  

The Captain came over the speaker apologising for the mishap advising he'd gotten too close to the jet stream of a plane just up ahead.  

I imagine tumbles on planes would be reasonably common. They tell us to fasten our seat belts when we hit a rough patch but not everyone is near their seats at the time. But how common is it?

Have you ever seen someone take a tumble on a plane?

Has it happened to you?

How are you at flying? 

And most importantly: How the hell did that door fly open in Sweden and why did the air hostess fall out? 


  1. Haha, I too have gotten worse with age as a flyer. Jet setted my way around the world as a youngster & got an awesome buzz from flying. Now...not so much :-(

    Am wondering if the air hostess had 'one of THOSE' forgetful moments. You know when you go to do something you've been doing for years and our of the blue one day you just forget. Like which way the tap turns (even though you've been using that tap in your own home for the past 20 years)? Like you all of a sudden forget what your pin code is for a bank account you check online everyday? Maybe it's just me, lol. But I'm thinking she went to check the door was closed and opened it by mistake, lost her footing and... Think it might be time for her to hang up her wings though. Wouldn't want her doing the same trick mid-air!

  2. I'm hoping she's okay. But, being an Irish airline & stewardess, there's got to be a joke in there somewhere ;-)

  3. LOL. I think you might be right! Perhaps it was the product of a deep fried mind ... and yes ... Irish joke essential! (shhh ... I'm Irish ...)

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  5. Oh that poor hostie. As if their job isn't hard enough without having to suffer being thrown to the ground as well. And I can't believe she had to return to work! I think she should have been sat down with a cup of tea and teeny tiny packet of pretzels.

  6. I did think she was incredibly brave and strong to get back to serving. I am sure her nose was broken ...

  7. ouch! I canfeel her pain. poor girl. I've been on about a billion planes (I may be exaggerating slightly) and have never seen anyone fall down. I did see a Buddhist monk in business class recently. which was interesting...

  8. Oh, her poor nose ! Sounds nasty and painful ! I'm a bit the same as you. I used to be nonchalant about flying but as I get older (I'm 40 too), I tend to clutch onto the armrests a little tighter during take off and landing, and I ALWAYS where the seatbelt...even when we're still taxiing on the tarmac.

  9. I'm all good with flying but Mr Mandie needs to down a few neat scotches and pop several benzos before he's even remotely comfortable. That poor hostie and her nose... And I'm with you, how on earth did the Swedish hostie take that tumble?!

  10. Oh my god, that sounds terrifying! I'm going to have trouble pushing that scene from my mind as I get onto a plane next month to head to Blogopolis. Eek!

    My most memorable plane moment was chasing a boy band around Australia and at one point having tickets to board the same plane as them (Adelaide to Melbourne, I think). There was horrific turbulence but sixteen year old me was just happy to be in that moment and didn't mind if she died right then and there. Wow. I really want to go back and slap sixteen year old me in the face LOL

  11. Toushka - a divine upgrade perhaps?
    Grace - yes, I'm a seatbelt nut ... and am constantly checking my kids belts too. Not sure what good that will do us if we take a dive ...
    Mandie - scotch? Check!!
    Kylie: LOL! I think there are a few of us that would like to slap our 16 year old selves about a bit ...


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