Friday, November 9, 2007

Nerve of steel..

Got this from CNN.

This pilot really held on to his nerve and saved the passengers. Great stuff.

Terror in the sky: Engine falls off plane, pilot flies to safety

(CNN) -- Brendon Pelser said he saw pure terror in the faces of his fellow passengers after an engine fell from a wing as it took off from Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday.

Men were sweating profusely, women were crying.

"There was fear on their faces," Pelser said. "Everyone started panicking."

But the pilot of Nationwide Airlines' Boeing 737 Flight CE723 was able to fly long enough to dump fuel and make an emergency landing at Cape Town International Airport.

Including crew, 100 hundred people were on the plane that departed at 3:50 p.m. on an hourlong flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. No one was injured.

The jet had only been in the air about 10 minutes before the engine fell.

"We heard something crash and bang, the plane veering left and right. A person on the right side said the engine was missing -- had broken clean off," said Pelser. Watch Pelser describe how the flight crew told passengers to "prepare for the worst" »

"They flew us in very slowly. We were all prepared for the worst. We went into the fetal position, head between the legs," he said. "Then we hit the runway."

"I did kind of pray. I didn't want to die. I'm not really ready to die," the 33-year-old said.

An object had been sucked into the engine as the nose wheel lifted from the ground and officials are trying to identify it.

The engine-to-wing supporting structure is designed to release an engine "when extreme forces are applied," to prevent structural damage to the wing, Nationwide said on its Web site.

The airline described the incident as a "catastrophic engine failure."

As the nose wheel lifted from the ground, "the captain heard a loud noise immediately followed by a yaw of the aircraft (sideways slippage) to the right," the airline said in a news release.

The flight instruments showed the No. 2 engine on the right side had failed, it said.

Pelser said he spent the night in Cape Town, then flew back to Johannesburg where he lives, on the same airline.

Nationwide said the engine had undergone a major overhaul in March 2005 at "an approved Federal Aviation Authority facility in the U.S.A." and had flown only 3,806 hours since then.

"These engines typically achieve 10,000 hours between major overhauls," Nationwide Airlines' press release stated.


J.T. said...

oh wow... that was scary. I wouldn't want to be in that predicament - not knowing if I will live or die (in this case, probably leaning towards the latter).

Two scary moments in my life (1. Chicago-Houston; 2. Osaka, Japan), have made me fear taking a flight during bad weather.

Rita Ho said...

What a miracle! Still, heroic credit to the pilot. Thanks for posting the news report, Nightwing. I seldom watch CNN (by choice) and missed it.

winniethepooh said...

we just cannot take life for granted...anything can happen at the most unexpected time. live life to the fullest n always tell people we love that we loved them....

Nightwing said...


Ya..for me its taking night flight. And smaller plane during bad weather (experience it when i went to Sibu ..few years back..up down...up down...)

Nightwing said...

Hi Rita,

Ya...i know what u mean abt CNN. I also don;t watch it ...just go online and see anything of 'value' then baru read and if good info..baru post.

Nightwing said...

Hi Winnie,

Agree with you 110%.

Puteri said...

Wow, I missed that piece of news too! If I had been one of the passengers in the plane, I would have praying real hard, and probably crying like the rest of the women in there!

Nightwing said...

Howdy Puteri,

Ya..i know what u mean. It is normal human reaction.