View Single Post
Old 11-11-2018, 03:42 PM
Gets Weekends Off
jDSTJD's Avatar
Joined APC: May 2018
Posts: 107

Originally Posted by Jason R View Post
Hello all,

I am new to this site and joined because I am seeking answers to something that happened to me years ago.

I have not done a lot of flying in my life but the little that I did do, I used to enjoy. I have always had a window seat and would have my face glued to the window.

However, this would all change on a Southwest flight in June of 1993, from Las Vegas, Nevada to San Diego, California, in the middle of the night, on a red eye flight to go back home. Maybe around the 2nd or 3rd of the month?

My cousin decided to marry her long time boyfriend, before he shipped off to boot camp, for the military. I saw them as they were leaving and tagged along to go with them to Vegas and also, visit my Mom, who lives out there.

Since this incident, I have only flown one other time, in August of 1999, from San Diego, to Dallas, and back. And while those flights had no issues whatsoever, it has been to stressful for me to fly, since then.

In recent years, I have been wanting to start flying again but have been seeking answers to what may have happened on that flight in 1993?

First, what happened is not a knock on Southwest Airlines or the pilot. If anything, that person deserved a metal because nobody lost their life.

So, we took off from Vegas and it was a very late flight. Off of memory, around 11:00pm or maybe 12:00am? The flight is only around an hour and I donít think you get up to a very high elevation. Maybe 20,000í to 25,000í tops, due to it being a shorter flight.

The plane was a 737. Iím assuming it was a Classic. It had the engines with the flat part on the bottom of the engine cowels and had no winglets. (In recent years I have being done research on different commercial airliner planes, to try and learn more about them.)

The plane took off, got to Iím assuming cruising altitude. It was the beginning of the flight and we were still over the desert somewhere? The flight attendants started bringing drinks to everyone and then the Pilot came on the intercom. He said everyone needed to stay buckled up because we were about to hit so strong turbulence. He didnít even get the word turbulence out of his mouth and the entire plane dropped. It felt like a force on top of the plane pushing it down. When the plane dropped, the flight was level but then the plane went into a nose dive, that was very steep. The plane lost all internal and external lights and both engines also lost power. I was on the wing, on the right side of the plane and could hear the engines slowing down and heard them go quiet. Peoplevstarted freaking out. The flight attendentent next to me, got pinned on the ceiling as the plane dove.

As everyone was freaking out and the plane was still in a dive, I could hear the engines trying to turn back on. They finally did so after maybe 30 seconds into the nose dive. The pilot was able to pull out of it but Iím assuming that due to us flying at a lower altitude, when he pulled out, he put the plane into a very steep climb. It seemed much steeper than take off. Iím assuming he may possibly have been trying to clear something. Maybe a mountain? When the plane lost all power, everything was pitch black. The plane, outside the plane and because we were over the desert, there were no lights at all. I just remember being pinned into my seat and unable to move. As the pilot pulled out, the poor flight attendant hit the floor and as we started climbing again, she remained there. Once we leveled out, other flight attendants came to her aide and took her to the back of the plane. The pilot came on and said the plane was having some mechanical issues and we would still be experiencing bad turbulence. He said that we may possibly divert to a closer airport but never did. The remainder of the flight, everyone had to stay buckled up and the plane seemed like it was fighting the pilot the entire time. All the way into San Diego, it seemed like the plane would drop and the pilot would have to keep it on course. As we began our descent to land, it was still the same thing. It wasnít a gradual decent but more like the pilot fighting the the plane as it descended. When we landed, we hit hard. The plane actually bounced and then then hit the runway somewhat hard again. Once the nose touched down, the plane then did fine.

An ambulance met us just off the runway and took the injured flight attendant off the plane. We then went to the gate to get off the plane. Before I boarding, the pilot got back on the intercom and apologized for the rough flight. He said they hit some unexpected turbulence and then something mechanically happened. He didnít specify what but whatever it was, clearly it affected how the plane performed.

The entire flight, even over the desert, was clear. Not a cloud in the sky. The weather in Vegas, was warm, but not too hot. Maybe mid 80ís? That night it cooled down but not so bad that I couldnít wear shorts.

After the pilot got the planes engines started again and the lights back on, the lights in the cabin remained on but were very dim. I donít know if that had to do with anything or not, but they stayed that way during the remainder of the flight.

I know I wrote a book but I came on here to find possible answers as to what possibly could have happened? That is why I tried to be as detailed as possible.

Any help would be much appreciated! I now live in Colorado and would like to fly from Denver, to Vegas to see my Mom again or even other cities, to visit. But, before I can do that, it would help if I was able to understand what caused the issues on that flight 25 years ago.
Oh my gosh just reading this elevated my anxiety. I also had an incident on Southwest a while back unfortunately. Like you I donít have any Iíll will toward Southwest. I love the airline. They have great employees, great fares and FREE BAGS!! But yeah I was flying from San Antonio to Chicago and it was a really bumpy ride for much of the flight...mostly as we got closer to Chicago. We were landing at Midway and all of a sudden during descent the plane started dipping drastically as we were also going through strong turbulence. I actually donít believe anything was wrong. Iím originally from Chicago and know all too well about that cold choppy wind. But I believe this just had to do with the the maneuvers the pilots had to do to get through the weather conditions. In any event, it was scary and all I could do was close my eyes and wait for it to be over. I do recall though that as we were getting really close to landing the pilot turned the plane sharply to the left and it seemed like (I doubt it actually was) the plane was flying in sideways lol. I was a nervous wreck when I got off that plane. I have flown southwest numerous time since then because itís a 2 hour give or take nonstop flight from here to Chicago so whenever I go I typically hop on SW. Wheneve I fly southwest though the flights do tend to be pretty bumpy. Can anyone tell me whether this has anything to do with the type of aircraft southwest uses? (Be gentle if itís a dumb question, Iím just asking). I ask because I took a flight after flying southwest for a long time on United not too long ago to Atlanta and it was such a smooth ride...totally different than how the flights feel in southwest planes. I actually told the pilot as I was deplaning how nice the ride was because I was that surprised. He seemed really appreciative of the compliment

I think this is actually a good thread. Thanks for sharing your story and asking questions. Hopefully you all (pilots) wonít mind educating us on a few of these issues.
jDSTJD is offline