What happens when the pilot says “we’re going down”…

Just read this article on the web:


Basically the pilot forgot to turn off the PA, and noticing that the plane was having problems told his colleague (I assume the first officer) that the “plane was going down”. Obviously that created a panic in the cabin…

A few years back, when I was living in Minneapolis, I had experienced the same situation – we were flying through a storm late night, and it was VERY windy – I was already nervous from the bouncy plane (people who know me knows how much I LOVE turbulence – NOT), when suddenly the flight attendants serving drinks ran past me with their serving trays, buckled themselves in, and started flipping through a manual (sort of like what Sandra Bullock did when she entered the Chinese satellite, in the movie Gravity).

Her intercom phone rang, she picked up, and said quietly (which I overheard) that “Captain XXXXX said that we’re going down” then quickly hung up and went back to flipping through her book.

It was completely dark outside so orienting ourselves was impossible to know if we were climbing, descending, or going straight down…

I closed my eyes, and started praying in silence, and noticed that an old lady across from me was also praying, out loud – so I reached my hand over on her hand – somehow believing that with us touching, our combined being we would be strong enough to not $h1+ our pants :{

After about 5 minutes of crazy shaking, suddenly the plane stopped, and a few more minutes after that the flight attendants walked back up the aisle like nothing happened. No announcements, nothing from anyone.

When we landed the pilot’s doors were still shut, and I just walked quickly into the terminal, on solid ground, and glad to be alive.

Not sure if I would rather have known that our plane was malfunctioning, or just be oblivious to the whole situation, as there is nothing I can do in either case… what about you?