Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mid-Air Static Discharge

Today's fight to New York was as event filled as I think a flight ever needs to be. It was a tad of an inconvenience when the first flight, the one that was to land at La Guardia at 1:58 in the afternoon, was cancelled. When the 10:19 flight that would have put me in New York around five was scratched...well...the weather on the Eastern Seaboard was not my friend today.

The 2:55 flight was a go though, and if all went well the plane would touch down at La Guardia at 8:30 or so. All went well...sorta. The turbulence as the plane neared NYC airspace was mad, with 25 minutes or so of yaw and bumps. That wasn't so bad though - I've been flying for over 30 years, I've endured some bumps. 

What was so bad was the static discharge, something I had never experienced in my over 30 years of flying. The interior lights on the plane were dimmed, so it was fairly dark. Suddenly, a brilliant flash of light filled the fuselage and a loud crackling snap seemed to slap the exterior of the craft. It was a very intense second or so.

Everyone on-board gasped and there were even a few screams. We all looked around as if to make sure everyone was okay. Then the pilot's voice came over the intercom; "This is your Captain speaking. We just experienced a rare static discharge. Nothing to be alarmed about, they are rare but they do happen. I have experienced about 12 of them."

There was an audible collective sigh of relief tinged with a little awe. The plane continued it's approach to La Guardia, and as we landed a large number of passengers, probably 80% of those on-board, started to applaud.
Walking past the Captain while disembarking I felt the urge to fist bump him. I settled for giving a thumbs up and saying thanks.

After I made it through the terminal and discovered buckets of freezing rain were falling from the sky, and we had landed amid wind gusts between 20 to 30 MPH, I really wished I'd fist bumped the Captain - maybe given him a hug.

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