I’ve thought a lot about this, whether I was going to write something, publish it so other people could understand, or even just for people to understand why I joke and laugh about it.
November 15, 2018, was the worst moment of my life, one I will live with forever. The day started great! Got myself and the kids ready for the flight, we were going to surprise our nannies and poppies in St. John’s for a whole month and I had some excited children! The plane arrived in Churchill Falls no problem and we were off to Deer Lake.
My son made a literal angel of a best buddy on the plane, I was worried he would be next to someone who didn’t like children, but that wasn’t the case, Diana was awesome with Ethan and I didn’t even have to bother with Ethan during the entire time. After everything we went through that day, she’s pretty much family now.
We start to descend into deer lake, like any normal descent, then we start ascending again. It was one of the windiest days on the Island so we didn’t really think anything of it, just thought we would try again or have to land elsewhere due to weather. Well we were wrong. The captain came on over the speaker and told us they were waiting to hear back from Deer Lake, and that there was an issue with the nose gear but it didn’t seem like a real issue, so we all just continued to wait while we circled. Captain came on again and stated that the nose gear would not lock so he was going to attempt some manoeuvres to try and get it to work, we felt the plane jolt a couple times and then continued circling.
The stewardess picked up a pamphlet and opened it immediately so there was no way we could see what was on the pamphlet or what it was regarding. The other stewardess came up and did the same and the two of them started going through what seem to be a checklist. That is when shit got real for me. Myself and Diana were conversing throughout it all and fairly got to the conclusion that he’s going to have to land. (A lot of people said afterwards he was just trying to run off the gas in the plane while circling, you know, prevent becoming a big fireball once we got on the ground I guess).
The captain came on the speaker informing us we are going to have to make an emergency landing, he stated the problem with the nose gear again and said there is a chance it could lock but the way he said it was almost like he knew it wouldn’t. The stewardesses were going to talk us through the emergency landing procedure and within 20 minutes we would be on the ground. I could see the stewardess in front was as scared as we were, I remember watching her explain everything and her eyes were watery, I do not blame her at all, the staff on the plane that day were the strongest people on the plane.
“Brace for impact” came over the speaker and the stewardesses jumped into action (well sat). “BRACE BRACE BRACE” “BRACE FOR IMPACT”. We landed on the back wheels and the pilot was able to slow the plane down as normal until the very end when the nose of the plane ground into the runway. “LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND, GET OFF OF THE PLANE, RUN AWAY FROM THE PLANE”.
Let me take you through my personal experience, that above any of us on the plane could tell you. “Why do they have check lists? What’s going on?” My entire thought process up until I heard the captain confirm emergency landing. Ethan had to pee for about a 1/2 hr and we couldn’t get up because of the seat belt sign, so needless to say, he was crooked and showcasing his anger by not listening to a sign thing I said or asked or told him to do. Myself and Diana were trying to get him to listen and go into the brace position, he wasn’t having any of it, Abby was fine in her car seat but Ethan, I couldn’t protect him, he was across the aisle with Diana. I was crying, I wanted so much not to cry and have my kids see me like that, but I was terrified, I had no clue what was going to happen but I felt like we were going to die, I think pretty much all of us on the plane felt that way. We were going to crash and I could not protect my son, and he was being a true defiant child all the way down, no matter what I said he was not listening, I was bawling, like ugly crying because of the situation, Ethan not listening, thinking we were going to end up in a mangled mash of plane. Diana looked over at me and told me she had him, she was going to cover him with her body, he wasn’t hers, they had met only a couple hours earlier, and she was an angel to me that day, and I am not sure I could ever thank her enough for what she did for me that day. She will hold a special place in my heart forever. We all frantically started texting people, telling them about what was going on, sending “love you” to them. I even texted my parents, just a “love you” because despite trying to surprise them, I didn’t want to die or anything and them not know I loved them because of a surprise.
We landed.. Diana had Ethan and took him off the plane, I took Abby out of her car seat. I was only able to get the kids teddies and Abby’s nummy in my pocket before we landed and everything else had to be left. We quickly got off the plane and I searched for Ethan and Diana, both were fine, a firefighter told us to get the kids into the back of the fire truck to keep warm.. if it was cold then didn’t know, I just jumped in the fire truck with the kids and waited for someone to tell us what to do. Taxi cabs came and picked us up from the crash site. I remember seeing the plane and thanking every god and person in heaven that it was over and no one was hurt, we drove to the airport.
we waited there for a couple hours before we got on a bus and drove to deer lake to get on another plane. We were all feeling the cold on that bus, we were frozen, bus didn’t have heat so after 2 hrs we were all froze, got off the bus and the Airline crew took care of all of our luggage and had us checked in already. We went right through security and got on the next plane, the poor stewardess didn’t want to go through the emergency procedures and such but she had to and we all understood, we landed in St. John’s and I was just done, I was exhausted, kids were balls of energy, and I was just happy to be with my family.
I will never get over this, I have to get on a plane to get back home and I’m dreading it. I drove to Stavanger drive the other day and just saw a plane descend and all the happy just drained from my body, my heart began to race and my palms were sweaty. I think about the crash all the time, I look at my kids and I’m thankful we are all here and they really didn’t know/care about what was going on.
If you see me and want to talk about the plane, I have no problem with it, I welcome it! It’s now a fact of my life, I went through something of most people’s nightmares and thankfully came out without a physical scratch, little messed up mentally but who wouldn’t be?