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Old Sep 29, 2009, 4:49 AM
jenna03 jenna03 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
Default Flight AA4908 from NY to Montreal. What happend ? Almost crash ?

I would really like to know what happend exactly tonight on the flight AA4908 from NY to Montreal. We were sure we were going to die. The plane started jumping and spinning around, out of control, and suddently just falling down. What happend ?
The pilot told us when we finally landed (thank god) that the controller in Montreal give them wrong direction to guide us directly in the center of the storm and then we had to escape the storm without going on another plane trajectory. It's not AA fault, but Montreal airport controller. I'm really thankfull that we landed alive but at the same time I'm ****** that a mistake like that happen. They don't talk about it anywhere ? What if that problem happen again ? It could of been a disaster. People was screaming and praying out loud. Is there anybody here that was on that flight that know more informations about it ? I dont think I'm gonna sleep tonight, I have those scary images in my head.
Old Sep 29, 2009, 6:34 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 495

You weren't as close to death as it might have felt.

I've looked up the flight at and looked at the track map and the tracking log.

Flight Track

Track Log

Over northern New York your flight sent in a larger circle then back north, right turn east, then north just past Montreal and vector back southwest a bit into Montreal.

During the circle it was under the control of Boston air traffic control center. Montreal air traffic control took over after the right turn and turn back to the north.

The track log shows speed and altitude. There was a point before the circle, where the plane descended at a little over 2,000 feet per minute (That's about the rate that you are going the first 2-3 minutes after take off) so it would have felt like a pretty good descent, but actually not to the danger point. Also this started when the plane was at 30,800, and leveled out almost 9 minutes later at 19,000 feet. So well above the ground. The speed of the aircraft varied quite a bit during that time, but that would also be consistent with ducking around a storm.

What it boils down to is this. There was no doubt some pretty good turbulence, and the plane had to fly around a bit due to the weather, so it no doubt was a very rough ride. But nowhere near the point of almost crashing. Most of this happened though, under the control of the Boston air traffic control center. Once you crossed into Canada ( just after the final turn north) the flight went under the control of Montreal ATC. So it actually was not the airport, but rather the air traffic control center, and it looks like it would have been Boston, not Montreal. But, this would be one flight where the pilots were really having to work, so after landing, and reviewing, it's kind of a minor detail which one. Bottom line is some controller screwed up.

As I said, it wasn't as near a crash as it might have seemed, although I'm sure it was rough. But if you think that was bad, try flying with the National Hurricane Center into a storm. I've not been on one myself, but from what has been described to me, you want to wear a helmet on one of those.
Old Sep 29, 2009, 7:43 PM
airhead airhead is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 228
Default I am so jealous!

I have never been in a flight during a really bad storm. Sounds like fun to me.
Old Sep 30, 2009, 2:06 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 495

Well, just come on down to Tampa during a summer afternoon. You'll get a great roller coaster ride on the way in.

On top of that, try having to do a go around in a nasty storm. That's always so much fun when you really just want to get off the plane.
Old Sep 30, 2009, 2:22 AM
jenna03 jenna03 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2

Thanks alot for your response, it's good to look at those tracking log and understand it more. It's good to know you think we were not to the danger point. I can't imagine what it would be to be in the real danger point.

I think what make it more scary, its that they don't tell us whats happenning when we go down like that. I understand they don't have time to talk and explain, but just a little annoucement to say we are not in danger would be recomforting.

But still, I think its gonna take me a little while before flying on a stormy day and be confident that the controller don't make mistakes again.

Thank you
Old Sep 30, 2009, 12:56 PM
cortney cortney is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 288

telling passengers that they were not in danger would cause chaos with some thinking the airline is lying to them. our pilots usually tell us (after the rough air) that we hit turbulence and were going to keep the seatbelt sign on for a bit longer etc..I have been up in the flight deck and pilots are extremly busy and by the sounds of your flgiht there really wasn't time to explain. quite often though pilots know ahead of time when there is going to rough weather. our pilot had us sit down because of turbulence coming up, we ended up going around it, but im glad he was looking out for us.
Old Oct 1, 2009, 3:23 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 495

That's kind a down side to it, is that the pilots have to put letting the passengers in on the details last.

There's a saying for pilots when you have a situation, and that is your priorities are to Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate, in that order. This means: Your first priority is to fly the plane, and keep it flying (or land if needed) but keep it under control. Second is, when you have the plane flying along OK, figure out where you are going. Third, let others know what's happening. In this case, radio first, passengers after that. But as cortney said, just mentioning it can cause more panic than good.

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