By Roger Fisher
It’s not the first time I’ve been involved in an emergency landing.
My neighbor-in-travel, Donna, and I had agreed to go to the washroom at the same time, about 10 p.m., to minimize the discomfort of getting in and out of seats. I am in the washroom when it occurred to me, “It feels like we’re falling!” Then the flight attendant announced, “I’m sorry, the captain has requested that we shut down all services.” I had never heard that before. We got back to our seats and gave each other mystified looks. She had felt the same falling sensation.
After 10 minutes the captain came on the intercom, “We have an overheat light in the cargo bay. We’re going to make an emergency landing in Pasco.”
The anxiety and tension suddenly became palpable, and I felt inspired to tell Donna about the time on an intercontinental flight that I saw the fuel being jettisoned. That was scary!
So, just like the time in England, we approached the runway and saw a lot of fire trucks and ambulances, lights flashing, poised for disaster. Meanwhile, any bump in the air or abnormal sound elicited a faint gasp from Donna. She was obviously flustered. I told her I wasn’t worried at all, because I don’t believe a plane crash is the way I’m going to go.
The landing gear dropped….People were clearly upset.
We finally land, with a good bump. Captain said, “We’re going to park here in the runway while the fire crews check us. If all looks OK, we’ll proceed to the concourse.”
They never did find a problem, and, at 2:38 a.m. somebody had made a bunch of sandwiches. I choose ham and cheese… man, I was hungry! About half the other 182 people from this flight were asleep – sprawled bodies in odd positions, strewn around the concourse gate like unpopular rag dolls.
Since there wasn’t a plethora of jets sitting around the Tri Cities airport, Delta flew one in for us. We were scheduled to leave at 4 a.m. for a 4:45 arrival in Seattle.
It looked like I’d miss my morning dental appointment, and one wouldn’t think that would be a bad thing, but I love my dentist, Caron Glickman, from Duvall.
So I finally got home and went to bed at just after 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. Upon awakening, I checked my email. KJR 95.7 radio wanted to have me on the air to talk about the emergency landing, which seemed to have made it on the news, proving the media was starved for content.
Wednesday morning at 8:05 I got the phone call from the Bob Rivers show. We quacked about the whole incident for about twenty minutes, proving once again that the media was starved for content.
What is very noteworthy here is that, no matter what the topic is, the talent on the Bob Rivers show will make it entertaining! Bob, Spike, Joe, and Jody… not to mention Luciana, Pedro, and Arik, are a team of industry-wise veterans dedicated to making radio work, and they do, more than any other radio talent that I’m aware of. Hats off to these people!
But they missed the real story.
Bob had asked me what I was doing in North Carolina, where I had made a one-night stay, only to come right back to Seattle. My reply was, “A friend of mine is making a movie, and I was in New Bern, North Carolina to make an appearance speaking at an elementary school, which was televised on local news. I’m promoting this movie because it’s about the story of an inspiring woman, Bayard Wootten.”
As I’ve told friends, it seems the universe helps people who have a deep commitment – an impassioned mission in life. Bayard Wootten was certainly one of those, and Fortune aided her again and again.Because of the emergency landing, 75,000 Seattle-area people heard about the movie about Bayard’s life story, The Big Stride… the real story.
Roger Fisher is one the founding guitarists of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Heart. He lives in the Sky Valley, and is involved in music and film.