If you're a fearful flyer, don't read this
But this story on OpinionJournal.com is a funny recap of a Wall Street Journal writer's experience with a plane mishap on a trans-Atlantic flight to New York, including some of his past experiences. To wit:
As a longstanding flier on Aeroflot (and its various ex-Soviet offspring), I usually feel invincible on a clean modern jet like this New York-bound Airbus A340. I remember once flying over Crimea in a twin-engine Aeroflot workhorse called the Antonov 24. When a fire ball emerged from one of its propellers, the impatient stewardess waved me off with a "normalno." I didn't ask again. Normal, too, were goats in the aisles above the Caucasus, drunk pilots who disembarked before their passengers and landings like the one a decade ago in Moscow, when our Tupolev 154 slammed down on the runway so hard that the seats detached themselves from the floor.Mental note to self: Make sure you never fly on anything remotely related to the Soviet Union.
On a small Yakovlev 40 jet from Kiev to Odessa early in the post-Soviet era, a man in a captain's uniform plopped down next to me soon after takeoff and stayed there for the whole flight, right through the smooth touchdown. I shared a taxi into town with a young biznesman whom I hadn't noticed onboard. "I gave the captain $100 to let me fly the plane," he explained to me with a straight face. Just for the fun of it.