Sunday, October 21, 2007
Oxygen masks fall from their over head compartment
We look at the surrounding mountains as the plane makes a wide sweep. Then you can see Abah and the old Ottoman Fort on a hill in the valley that Abah is in. As the plane makes a turn I can see the checkpoint to the cat trail to Jizan. The flight then proceeds near the Royal Saudi Army base were that we work and you cane see the mountain at the back of the base. They call the mountain “monkey mountain” because a tribe of baboons live on the mountain. I have climbed the mountain many times without any incidents. However a group from the Corp. of Engineers was climbing the mountain one day and came across the tribe baboons. They wanted them to leave so they started throwing rocks at them. Then the baboons got the idea and started throwing rocks back. Seems the baboons were the best rock pitchers, since they were throwing the rocks down hill, causing the group to make a hasty retreat. Some cuts and scraps happened to the losers in the rock pitching contest. Then we are above the clouds and climbing so nothing on the ground is visible any more.
I turn and talk to the head mechanic from Jeddah for a short while. Not about anything specify just normal talk to pass the time. Soon the plane has leveled out and we are on the flight path to Jeddah. The stewardess starts serving the snacks of sandwiches and other items. The snacks have just been served and everybody is drinking coffee, tea, Pepsi, orange juice, or some drink with their snacks. However nobody is drinking beer.
Then it happens, the oxygen masks fall from their over head compartment. Thinking the plane has lost pressurization the pilot puts the plane into a steep dive to get to the lower altitude were that pressurization is not needed, as quickly as possible.
However the Saudis aboard do not understand this and believe that the plane is going to crash. They throw their food trays where they can. Then they unbuckle their safety belts and try to climb out into the aisle way and pray. The stewardess tries desperately to get them back into their seats and buckle their seat belts. However it is useless since the stewardess are women and the Saudis will not listen to them. Finally they get somebody from the cockpit to come back and talk to the Saudis and get them back into their seats. They are talking all the time on the PA system in Arabic telling them what to do but it is not getting any results. The plane has leveled out at a lower altitude were that pressurization is not required. The plane is a total mess it has drinks, sandwiches, potato chips, and other snacks everywhere on the plane. The stewardess tries to clean up the mess on the plane and does manage to get most of the trays picked up. Then they announce that we are in the flight path for landing to buckle you seat belts put your tray tables away and prepare for landing.
Soon we feel the touch down on the runway at Jeddah. The plane taxis to the unloading point and the stairs is moved into position at the plane, by the ground crew. The door is swing open and the people start to disembark from the flight. We ask the stewardess what had happened but they only shake their heads. I am sure they are glad that the flight is over. We see lots of vehicles and service personnel swarming the plane to see what had gone wrong. However we never did hear what had happened. We grab our carry on’s and make our way off of the plane. We do not have to go through immigration or customs this time.
Posted by Ottster at 7:39 PM