Cabin crew spend thousands of hours every year flying through the skies and witness all manner of things during that time. Occasionally, these journeys can run into bumps along the way, including unexpected mechanical errors.
A flight attendant has revealed one of the “craziest” moments she ever experienced while flying.
She spent most of her 20s travelling the world as cabin crew, however, it was one particularly terrifying experience that stayed with her for the long-haul.
She shared the moment in a Reddit forum, describing it as “the craziest mechanical error” she had witnessed over the years.
“[The] craziest thing I’ve witnessed…was an actual mechanical error where there was a decompression,” she recalls. [SIC]
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Cabin crew secrets: The flight attendant revealed a terrifying moment when a plane ‘dropped’
The plane cabin suddenly lost pressure
“So that’s crazy in terms of actual flying.”
She explains how the plane suddenly had to plummet rapidly in order to ensure safety for everyone on board.
The drop likely felt terrifying at the time but was all for the greater good.
She continues: “We lost air pressure and they had to drop the plane to [the] normal level which is under ten thousand feet.
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“The whole cabin started fogging up because when you lose the pressure it suddenly goes from hot to cold.”
A loss of cabin air pressure has the potential to be a really serious emergency if it is not handled quickly and appropriately by the crew.
Aircraft cabins are pressurised in order to create an environment which is suitable for people to travel in and allows them to continue to breathe even when flying at extremely high altitudes where oxygen levels would normally be thin.
According to excerpts from Skybrary.aero: “The higher the aircraft flies, the higher the pressure differential that needs to be maintained and the higher the stress on the aircraft structure.”
Oxygen masks are sometimes used during moments of low pressure
In some instances, cabin pressure can unexpectedly drop, and pilots must make the rapid call to drop to a level where air pressure is more sustainable.
The drop is often to below 10,000 feet, as oxygen supplies remain adequate for human function at this level.
Oxygen masks are also often dropped down during this time to provide vital support for staff and passengers.
Luckily for the flight attendant in question, her experience had a happy ending thanks to the behaviour of the flight crew.
“Luckily the junior pilot knew what she was doing and was able to level out the plane,” she concludes.
Of course, these emergency situations can’t always be predicted or avoided, however, this is why aircraft mechanics are so vital to the air industry.
According to one aircraft mechanic, this is why planes can often face delays – but why those delays are necessary.
“If your flight has a maintenance delay and there is no on station mechanics for that carrier I get called. If it’s a quick fix, I fix it. If not we check to see if it can be deferred to get fixed later,” explains the mechanic in another Reddit forum.
“There is also constant pressure on both me and the pilots to clear or fly aircraft that have some fairly significant problems,” they continue.
“I have airlines try to get me to sell some pretty sketchy stuff to the pilots to get them to fly and avoid a costly delay.
I have no problems telling a pilot to call his controllers/dispatchers and tell them to f*** off if I’m not comfortable with whatever concoction of deferral action I was asked to perform.
“Don’t get me wrong, the airlines would never willingly fly an unsafe aircraft. But if there is say an engine vibration that is just right at a hair under the limit they will fly it.
“If the oil is super low but servicing it will cause a delay-service it at the next stop.
“If the pilot encounters something at altitude that I can’t duplicate on the ground-sign it off and see if it happens again.”
He concludes: “Those are the ones I usually push back on depending what it is.”