'This is it': Passenger describes turbulent plane ride

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Seven people were taken to hospital after an American Airlines passenger jet was diverted to St.

See Full Article

John's, N.L., due to severe turbulence.

American flight 206 left Miami bound for Milan, but was re-routed to St. John's International Airport late Sunday. Passenger Gustavo Canga, 26, was on his way to his job in aviation services at a military base in Abu Dhabi after spending time in the United States, where he has an infant son. Here is his account of the incident, as told to reporter Michael Tutton of The Canadian Press:

When I saw this plane my first impression was that it could be a rough flight. I know the smaller planes, when they hit turbulence you feel it harder than the Airbus.

But I just wanted to get back to Abu Dhabi and work. I'm very familiar with aviation and I fly all the time.

I was sitting about three quarters of the way towards the back. We started turbulence anywhere from two to three hours after we left Miami.

About 30 minutes before the turbulence, the flight attendance started to serve food. They had to cut it short and had to get people's trash. The seatbelt signs came on.

We had turbulence, and it was progressively getting (worse). Then there was a drop, or a dip, and that was when the flight attendants that had no seatbelts got hurt.

Some people passed out. There was a lady who had a cut on her face.

It's hard to track time when you're that nervous and you're scared and you might think it was longer than what it was. I had to say (all of) the turbulence had to be 10 to 20 minutes; I'm not exactly sure.

The turbulence that caused the injuries had to be in the seconds. It was really fast. Yet it felt very long because you are in a panic mode.

It was definitely a life-changing experience. You realize when something like this happens that things can end very quick and really nothing matters.

I was praying. You realize, this can be it right here. I tried to remain calm. But you can't help but think, "This is it." It was just praying to God.

I didn't see (the attendants) being injured. But I did hear the one flight attendant who spoke on the speaker. You could hear the panic in her voice. She was very frightened.

She told people to remain in their seat. Don't get up for any reason. Put your seatbelt on.

There were so many things going on. There were people talking, people screaming, and one of the flight attendants called for medical personnel to come to the back.

The woman sitting in the row next to me was a pediatrician from Venezuela.

When she returned to her seat she was calm. From what the doctor told me, one of the flight attendants had a deep cut in their leg and they applied a tourniquet on the leg.

The doctor told me the First Aid kit in the plane had very basic stuff. It didn't have anything to treat severe injuries.

After the turbulence ended, the captain announced we were going to make a stop in St. John's.

As the airplane landed, the first thing I thought was it hadn't snowed too badly. I kind of thought you guys would be buried here. This town looks a bit like northern New Jersey.

I work in aviation and I would say that the plane should now be thoroughly inspected, especially before going across the Atlantic.

I just don't want to get in the plane anymore, to be honest. I have a small child, Mikel, who turns six months this month.

I didn't get hurt, but it was definitely a traumatic experience. I slept all right, but I tossed and turned. I woke up in the morning just thinking about it.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Passenger train partly derails in Australia, killing 2

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- Several cars on a passenger train derailed in southeastern Australia, killing two operators and injuring 12 other people, police said. The train was heading from Sydney to Melbourne late Thursday when part of it came off the tracks in Victoria state near Wallan. Source
  • Wet'suwet'en chiefs to spend Friday with Mohawk supporters in Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A group of hereditary leaders from the Wet'suwet'en Nation in British Columbia is to spend the day with Mohawk supporters in Ontario. The B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to a pipeline project on their traditional territory by blocking a critical rail line between Toronto and Montreal. Source
  • First round of Wuhan evacuees to be released from quarantine today

    Canada News CTV News
    Full coverage CTVNews.ca/Coronavirus First round of Wuhan evacuees to be released from quarantine today As Canadians from cruise ship fly home, those who tested positive can only wait Source
  • Thai court orders popular opposition party dissolved

    World News CTV News
    BANGKOK -- Thailand's constitutional Court on Friday ordered the popular opposition Future Forward Party dissolved, declaring that it violated election law by accepting a loan from its leader. The court also imposed a 10-year ban on the party's executive members holding political office. Source
  • Latino voters can make or break Democratic campaigns. They're about to get their say in 2020

    World News CBC News
    Latino voters turned the course of the Democratic presidential primaries in 2016. They're about to get their say in 2020. Starting this weekend in Nevada, followed just over a week later by the delegate-bountiful states of California and Texas, Hispanic voters will play a make-or-break role. Source
  • Be warned, Conservatives: a failed leadership bid is not a career-builder

    Canada News CBC News
    There are two types of candidates vying for the Conservative leadership — those who have a plausible chance of winning and those who don't. Only the second category is getting larger. Maybe the people in this second group think they can pull off an unlikely upset. Source
  • Government asking for an extra $2.1 billion for Indigenous programs

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is asking Parliament to spend an additional $2.1 billion on Indigenous programs and initiatives, above and beyond what MPs already have approved. While $2 billion of the proposed spending for Indigenous services would be new money, supplementary estimates tabled in Parliament show that more than $53 million in net transfers from various departments would go to a wide range of Indigenous programs and projects. Source
  • Grief, anger and calls for action after shooting in Germany

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Thousands have gathered in cities across Germany to hold vigils for the victims of a racially motivated shooting, amid growing calls for authorities to crack down on far-right extremism. A 43-year-old German man shot dead nine people of immigrant background in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau Wednesday before killing his mother and himself. Source
  • Iran votes in parliament elections that favour conservatives

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, IRAN -- Iranians were voting for a new parliament Friday, with turnout seen as a key measure of support for Iran's leadership as sanctions weigh on the economy and isolate the country diplomatically. The disqualification of more than 7,000 potential candidates, most of them reformists and moderates, raised the possibility of lower-than-usual turnout. Source
  • Charter flight carrying quarantined cruise passengers lands at CFB Trenton

    Canada News CBC News
    The charter plane carrying more than 200 Canadian passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has landed at CFB Trenton in Ontario. The plane, which touched down just after 2 a.m. ET, was carrying passengers from the cruise liner that was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan since early February due to an outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus. Source