From an approach in bad weather to a scary go-around
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Yeah, that happened.
On the 2nd of August, I was on my way from Udaipur (UDR) to Mumbai (BOM) in an IndiGo A320. We had been descending into Mumbai amid a lot of clouds, fog and rain around us. We were also on final and I could see the land below us. The flaps and gear were down. We were probably a few miles out from the runway, and the captain had told the rest of the crew on the PA to strap themselves in for landing. The plane was around 500 feet from the ground and amid shaky turbulence, when suddenly...
...the engines roared to life! With a jerk and a sharp left turn, we started pitching up and the flaps were retracted. If you're an avgeek, you probably know that the plane is supposed to do the opposite of this while landing. We climbed to 8,000 feet and then the captain came on the PA and told us that due to visibility being less than the minimum required for landing, a go-around was required. It was pretty scary, because it happened so suddenly.
We entered a holding pattern for about an hour and did a couple of rounds as we tried to get clearance again. At times, I was fearing that we would run out of fuel, which seems unlikely but There was a lot of turbulence throughout the holding pattern, and at one point, there was a talk of diverting to Pune. Some passengers kept on standing up even when the seatbelt sign was on, and that is something you should never do, especially when you’re in heavy turbulence like we were. They're lucky they weren’t thrown around the plane!
After that hour, we finally started our descent (again) into Mumbai. This time, the conditions were much better and much more suitable for landing. The approach and landing were quite smooth, which is what I needed after the harrowing experience in the air. We quickly taxied to the gate and stepped off the plane into the rain, glad to be out of the flight. (It wasn't a bad flight by any means, just that it was scary and I had had enough of sitting in there for longer than I was supposed to.)
It was quite a surprise, as the rest of the flight was uneventful until this happened, and just this one event alone made it the "scariest" flight I've been on so far. I hope I don't have to go through this again (even though I wouldn't mind going for an adventure once in a while) and I hope the same for anyone else. If you really didn't feel this experience as if you were there, that's alright because you have to be actually there to know the sheer horror of it.
Have you had any scary flights? Let me know down below!