USAir Hudson River Landing Vs Flight 1767 April 1996
On April 30, 1996 I was in an emergency landing on a flight that originated in Las Vegas and was bound for Burbank, California. We never made it to our destination but we did finally land safely. The landing gear was stuck, the pilot contacted headquarters and the decision was made to try various methods of fixing the situation. Two of the scariest maneuvers I’d ever experienced. The first was series of “roller coasters” in the sky, in an effort to jar the errant gear. Didn’t work,but scared the you know what out of most of us passengers. The second was two “touch and goes”, the pilot heads for the runway at full speed, bounces the wheels and takes off again in an attempt to jar the wheel lose. We did this two times. After two hours flying around unsure whether the plane was going to land and dumping fuel into the Pacific Ocean the pilot and crew braced us for an emergency landing, much like the USA Air pax must have gone through. We landed on a wing and prayer, flat on the plane’s belly limping off to the side with a runway covered in foam. It was scary, stressful, one of the worst flying experiences of my life save for the fact that we all survived physically. Which brings me to the point of this–anyone who goes through such an ordeal MUST SEEKS COUNSELING. The post traumatic stress is debilating and hits when you least expect it. I am still suffering the affects more than a decade later.
God bless Sully for getting everyone out alive and ditto to the Female captain and male co-captains on my flight. Also my fellow passengers who not only didn't push, shove or panic, helped each other, cried on each others shoulders and bonded at least for those hours.
I kept a full log of the event from the time I left the Stratosphere Hotel at 12:25 pm in Las Vegas until I was finally at home about 8 pm that night. All from memory since we had to leave all our possessions on the plane and evacuate down the chutes into the white foam. So I had no pen or paper, cell phone etc.