I had a 6:00 a.m. flight to New York's LaGuardia airport yesterday. We boarded on schedule. I was half asleep and wanted to be all the way asleep, so I tucked myself into my seat and closed my eyes waiting to pull away from the gate. Once away from the gate, it seemed like we were dinking around too long on the tarmack. They kept revving the engine and then letting it wind down, with no take off. I've been on enough flights to know what seems normal and this activity did not seem normal. We eventually took off though.
They gave the green light for electronic devices. The i-pod got clicked on and I was that much closer to dreamland. Until the announcement came...
"Ladies and gentleman, we're going to have make an emergency landing in Buffalo, due to a problem with one of our engines."
The announcement was so matter of fact, like they'd just announced they'd be bringing the beverage cart along. At first I didn't really think anything was seriously wrong.
"It's gotta be like when your check engine light comes on in the car. It doesn't mean you have to stop immediately, it means go get this situation checked out when you get a spare minute. I hope it's just something like that."
Then they started reviewing the safety procedures...AGAIN! Not good.
I started thinking that maybe this Emergency Landing was more than just a check engine light scenario. We made a pretty rapid altitude descent into Buffalo. The lights flickered. The guy next to me started talking about how we might have trouble landing if there's something wrong with one of the engines. That's when my palms started to sweat and I starting thinking about the fact that I got on a flight this morning not thinking it might be my last...EVER.
Safe and sound. Safe and sound. It was my mantra until wheels touched the ground in Buffalo. We were met by numerous fire trucks and police cars. They said that was just routine procedure, but I overheard one of the other passengers later on when were waiting to be rebooked say that something was actually on fire and the plane was being hosed off. I don't know if I believe that.
Regardless. I did get right back on another plane and finally made to NYC to visit my brother and sister in law. Safe and sound. Just another reminder to live each day to the fullest and with purpose and to cherish the people you love because you never know when you might have to make an emergency landing.