Emergency Vehicles Have Been Rolled out for Your Safety
We were inbound
After getting married to my husband whom I met in Italy, I left my career behind in Switzerland, moved to my husband's home country (USA). A few months into our move, we took a trip to South Africa (my home country) and on a return trip back to the USA we boarded a flight to Phoenix, Arizona... the flight in total was around twenty hours, with two layovers. But I was used to travelling, as a diplomat's daughter I'd been doing it frequently for the last twenty years.
On our last leg, about to touchdown at Sky Harbor, our plane, doesn't slow down - instead keeps at the same speed and takes a lap... circles and tries to land again. Again, no slow-down, coming in fast, and we pass the airport. By this time it was over thirty minutes past our flight arrival time. Passengers were impatiently and tentatively waiting for the aircraft to land and to just get out of the stuffy airplane.
Suddenly the pilot's voice comes on over the intercom "Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry for the delay, it seems that there is a problem with one of the flaps, [which slows down the aircraft], it seems to be stuck. Now we are going to attempt to land at the current speed, and just so you know emergency services on the ground have rolled out emergency measures, so don't be alarmed if you see fire-trucks and ambulances as we attempt this. Please stand by. Cabin crew, take your positions."
Those were THE most terrifying words I have ever heard. Here I am, sitting on a flight (one month pregnant) and returning from a wonderful vacation at home in my own country...to hear this, on arrival back in the states. For 29 years flying from Johannesburg to JFK and vice versa, and to Dubai, to Zurich, Munich etc. I had never feared a fault on an airline. This was not good. So not good. I have never had a fear of flying, but that day, I did.
My husband, a budding aeronautical pilot in his third year of college tells me, "Ok, they're going to attempt landing again." So all this time he knew they were trying to land, with two failed attempts! I had just thought they weren't cleared to land and had to circle around a bit... I didn't know there was a technical failure! So, I did the only thing I could, I started to pray.
We came in fast, really fast. I prayed that the plane wouldn't burst into flames. I prayed that it wouldn't swerve and crash. I prayed that the entire runway full of emergency vehicles and staff I saw as we descended onto the tarmac, wouldn't need to be used.
I shut my eyes and gripped on tight to the armrests. We hit the ground. I almost got thrown out of my seat. Eventually after what seemed like an eternal three minutes, the plane started to slow down...everybody was OK. No flames. No sirens. No blood. Oh My God. I was alive. He heard.
"But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you."
- 2 Thessalonians 3:3
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