I was once on a flight from London to New York when a loud bang seemed to hit the body of the plane. I went into in a panic, certain something mechanical had died and soon enough I’d be joining it. “What’s going on?” I asked the flight attendant, sweating torpedoes. “I’m just collecting orange rinds,” she replied, smiling, “because you can’t bring fruit across continents.” “Not that, dingbat!” I shrieked. “I don’t give a shit about orange rinds! What about that ghastly boom I just heard?”
“Oh!” she chirped. “We were just hit by lightning. It’s OK. It happens all the time. There’s usually no damage to the engine.” “Usually?” I screamed, with such terror in my voice that the gremlin on the wing jumped off. “Fucking usually“? What followed were the longest five hours of my life–I turned religious 20 times over–and though it turned out to be completely uneventful and we did end up landing safely, I can never look at fruit in quite the same way again.
And now, your airborne horror tales. Sudden altitude drops? Birds in the engine? Soggy pasta?