I had a fun (?) experience with flying to Virginia last week (Tuesday). I thought it was going to be a beautiful flight. Hardly anyone was flying. The airport was semi-empty. There were a lot of folks milling about talking about their cancelled flights into the north and central US with the storm that was ripping through the states. The plane was mostly empty every other seat unoccupied – unusual in this day and age of flying.
Our take off was directly into the LOW clouds as it was foggy, misty, dreary day in Atlanta. We're just into the clouds and BOOOOOMMMMMMM with a slight shutter, then silence. No one is screaming, no one is talking, just quite. We're not dropping, there is no smoke - however, no one is coming over the intercom to address what just happened. Everyone waits very patiently (and quietly) - it's VERY quiet in every way - amazing when you're NOT going fast how quiet airplanes are. There is little or no wind noise; there is no engine noise from climbing.
The flight attendant finally came on and told us the pilot would tell us what happened when he could and assured us he was probably pretty busy making sure everything is OK. Gee, I HOPE he is busy trying to keep us in the air!!
5 minutes later, the pilot finally comes on and tells us we have an engine problem.. ya think? Is it back on the ground from take off? The pilot first said we were to land in Columbia South Carolina; however we only managed to limp to Augusta.
If ever there was a silver lining to this story is that due to the storms and the huge number of cancelled flights due to the storm, they were able to fly us a plane up in a matter of hours, not day - and not shuttling us all back in puddle jumpers to Atlanta. We arrived in Norfolk at 6:30pm instead of 2:30 pm, however could have been a LONG day long or more process to get us all out of there had it been a full flight and a regular flying day.