First experiences…



We’d just landed in Chicago O’Hare, and the pilot was going on with the usual patter about the weather, when all of a sudden all the lights go off, and the cabin crew screams “we’re evacuating the plane, move move move now!”

As we were in the rear, I mostly had no time to panic–reaction only set in when I slid down the rear toboggan slide (interesting factoid: the landing is rather rough…), and saw three HUGE firefighters trucks bearing down on us with sirens wailing. Then we were standing on the grass and watching the trucks liberally drench the plane’s wheels with gallons of cold water.
Turns out, we had a bit of a bumpy landing, burst a tyre; and the aforementioned tyre caught fire. Just under the kerosene tanks, hence the panic.

As I said; we didn’t really have time to twig on to what was going, and everyone was fine. We did, however, miss the connection to San Francisco because the plane was impounded with all our stuff still on it, and we had to wait 2.5 hours in a no-mans’ land in order to get our stuff (including the passports), and clear Immigration.

Can I just say this was my first experience of evacuating a plane via the toboggan slides?


  1. And I expect it to make an appearance in the next story you write!

  2. I’m glad you’re okay and that everything worked out in the end. That kind of experience could put even a seasoned flyer off ever flying again.

  3. You don’t have great airline luck….but perhaps something cool will come of the delay ;o)

  4. !!!!

    I saw that on the local news! Wow. Glad you’re okay. Welcome to Chicago? 😉

  5. Wow, what an experience! The important thing is that you are ok!

  6. Thanks everyone!
    Dylan: I’m now contemplating the evacuation of a spaceship 🙂
    Jason: honestly didn’t have time to panic, plus the crew was super efficient, which helps with reassurance.
    Jeannette: my airline luck sucks, but quite possibly not as much as Mary (Robinette Kowal).
    Laurel: yup, I saw that we made the news 🙂
    Ben: it’s an interesting experience 🙂

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