Friday JohnKu – AKA – TGIF



Another week into the history books. I guess we all had our share of triumphs and defeats. I’m not sure we can expect an easy ride but let’s say the bumps in the road make you aware you are going somewhere. I’m sure you have been on an auto trip where you had a long stretch of highway. Isn’t it amazing that you can travel on that road and totally not remember what you have passed? Hit a pothole, and you are instantly transported to the present.

I’m reminded of a flight I was taking from a small town in Indiana to Chicago O’Hare airport. This was a regional carrier and small turboprop aircraft. Where I was seated on the right side of the plane, I could see the pilots and instrument panel. We had just started to enter a holding pattern above the fuel tanks of Gary Indiana when the right engine disintegrated. Yes, chunks came into the cabin, but no one was hit. I was able to hear the pilot’s comment to the co-pilot just as all the lights on the right side of the panel went red and the and the emergency alarm began announcing “Fire.”

So what did the captain say as he was jolted into the here and now? I thought that his words would allow the NTSB to forever close the case with the explanation he shouted out to his co-pilot.

“What the hell was that?” was all he offered.

Long story short we landed safely, we all applauded the pilot and since I was the last to leave I heard him say to the co-pilot, “Some days we do earn our pay.”

Today’s JohnKu talks about those bumps in the road. I hope you have a wonderful Weekend.

Bumps by John W. Howell © 2018

Those who expect it smooth,

Are the most disorganized. . .

After the first bump.



  1. Sounds scarey, John! Good job the pilot was on the ball (mind you, I always believe that the pilots have as much interest in getting down safely as their passengers do, which leads me to invest my trust in them).

    1. These guys were terrific. We were in a 30 degree bank with the right engine lowered. There is no more dangerous time to lose an engine than that. The only thing that caused me concern was the stall warning klaxon which indicated we were no longer flying but were now the physical equivalent of a rock. At 3000 feet that is not a good thing. Thanks, Keith.

  2. That had to be scary. Your haiku is actually right on the money too. Seems to even be the theme of the week.

    1. I think so. To quote Gilda Radnor, “If it isn’t one thing it’s another. It’s always something.”

      1. Pretty sure that quote goes for most people.

      2. It does apply universally. 😀

  3. Holy Hannah! And right over all those fuel tanks too? I guess there times when having a good view of everything is not good… Nobody on the plane was likely to forget that! I’m so glad you lived to tell the tale.
    Love that meme, John. That’s my emotion for this Friday, even if I don’t have enough bounce to jump for a high five. 😉 Hugs to you and yours. Have a fabulous Friday.

    1. You as well, Teagan. You are almost there so breathe deeply and think about the wine. 😀

      1. LOL. It’s my every-other Friday off, so I’m there. Having fun writing about Lulu and Valentino’s train. TGIF Hugs!

      2. Excellent. Looking forward.

  4. Love this one! And yes those ‘bumps’ do jolt us into reality.

    1. I guess that’s the positive side of a pothole. Thanks, Pam.

  5. Yikes! Great JohnKu…so true. Happy Friday!

    1. Thanks, Jill. 🙂

  6. Gwen Plano · ·

    Whoa, that had to have been scary. I’ve not experienced anything like that and hope I never do. Have a great weekend – no bumps.

    1. Funny thing is I never thought to be scared. I was totally involved in what the pilots were doing to deal with the emergency. In fact, I mentally recorded the episode and used some features in Our Justice when Stephanie was dealing with her engine out emergency. Wishing you a happy day, Gwen. 😀

  7. Wow, John. It’s a good thing the plane wasn’t in the middle of the ocean. That’s a huge bump in the road. Have a great weekend. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Yes, we were very close to O’hare. Actually arrived early.

  8. It depends on your point of view John as to whether the day went badly- you could have died
    or the day went well- you didn’t die. In your case I’d say the latter.

    1. I would pick the later as well. Thanks, David.

  9. Very often the case, John.

  10. Good point about pilots. I always think of their job as one of acting when needed. Hope your weekend is smooth with a soft landing Monday morning.

    1. My Mondays are great. Well, every day is good.

  11. Hope you stopped at a bar in the airport after you landed – deserved some good bourbon after that scare.

    1. Unfortunately it was 7:30 in the morning. I had meetings all day in Chicago so I just went to the first one and that was that. Flew home that night.

  12. So happy you guys made it safely down, John. I bet this story has been fun to tell over the years. Reminds us of how important it is to live now. Have a great weekend!

    1. This is actually the first time I told it. It seemed unimportant to share with others. I never even told my wife about it. (second wife that is)

  13. It’s been a while since you could see into the cockpit. If it happened today, you would have been on YouTube.

  14. No more bumps like that, young man! ♥

  15. Yikes, that must have been frightening! Glad everything went well though. Perhaps it’s best that we NOT know how often we’ve been in dangerous situations!

    1. True enough Debbie. Thank you.

  16. I’m so lucky that I’ve never had a scary experience on a plane. We’ve flown Southwest Airlines several times so that story recently about the left engine coming apart and killing a woman in a window seat was unnerving. Happy weekend, good sir!

    1. Very rare although I just told a story about another one. 😀

  17. Like the Johnku and the story. I would be a little nervous about flying again after that. Have a good weekend.

    1. OI figured when my number was up it would be up.

  18. I’m not crazy about flying, so your experience might have been enough to keep me from doing it again! Whew! Thanks for the JohnKu, and have a good weekend!

    1. You as well, Mae.

  19. Mary Adler · ·

    We once landed — thank goodness — in a blizzard in Baltimore. The right wing dipped and almost scraped the ground. The flight attendants had turned green. Not at all reassuring. We rented a car and drove the last leg home, not because of the scare, but because the planes were grounded.(Thank goodness!) I cannot imagine having pieces of the engine flying through the plane and am happy you survived to tell the tale!!

    1. Me too, Mary. Thank you. 😀

  20. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    That was a terrifying moment on your flight and I am very glad there were no injuries in that bump. You make a great point how we move down the road of life not paying any attention until we hit that bump then life has our full attention. Very true that never expecting a bump will disorganize a person at the very least.
    “What the hell was that?” does seem to sum up a lot of those moments perfectly:) Insightful post John. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you Denise. You have a great weekend as well.

  21. Whew… Bet you didn’t realize you paid for the ‘adrenaline package’ when you bought that ticket. And since you survived, good fodder for your fiction, I suppose! Happy Weekend, John.

    1. I actually used some of the cockpit stuff for an engine out sequence in my book Our Justice. Thanks, Phillip.

  22. John,

    How scary is THAT? But I guess on the other side of such a frightening experience, you gain a hell of a perspective on what matters most.

    And that is the perfect Haiku for your hair raising experience . . .

    1. Thank you, Marc. I have other flying stories. I once believed someone was trying to tell me to stay on the ground. I didn’t listen.

      1. John,

        Just so long as you weren’t pulling a William Shatner from Twilight Zone!

        And no, take it from me, don’t listen to the voices in your head. Unless they have something that’s been signed by a notary.

        Have a great weekend, Bossman

      2. Most of my voices can’t read or write so I wouldn’t listen even if they had a notorized statement. Probably a forgery.

      3. John,

        Wow, you have some real scoundrels in your noggin. Me too!

  23. Have you heard the full ten-minute audio between the SW pilot and the tower after that engine exploded and shrapnel opened up the passenger compartment? If you haven’t, it’s on Soundcloud, and it’s absolutely riveting. In truth, it proves your point about a “pothole” focusing attention, but it also points to the truth of your JohnKu. Training for the worst is the way to go. Your pilot, and the SW pilot, were well-trained.

    1. I have not heard it. I gotta do that. Thanks, Linda.

  24. An excellent JohnKu, and quite a story. They certainly pair well together.

    1. Than you, Jennie.

      1. You’re welcome, John.

  25. How scary, John, and yet, there’s humor at the end. Glad it was a safe ending, too. Have a good weekend!

    1. Thank you , Lauren. You as well.

  26. Those are sage words right there.

    I’m glad you all walked away from that unsettled, but unscathed!

    1. So true. Thank you, Deborah.

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