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Old 01-14-2009, 03:56 PM   #61
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This isn't my close call by my husband's and son's. DH was taking our son back to college, about 150 miles on the Ohio Turnpike. The speed limit is 65 I think but everyone regularly goes 80-85 mph. They were about 2/3 of the way there and all traffic came to a standstill. There was a 2 vehicle accident up ahead and it included fatalities, so all lanes were blocked with emergency vehicles. While sitting and waiting my husband let the car move closer to the car in front of him and when he tried to stop, his foot went to the floor with no braking action. Luckily he was going about 2mph at the time and was able to use the emergency handbrake. Since all the cars were parked anyways he got out to see if there was a way to get over to the shoulder. The trucker next to him pointed out a puddle at the back of the car and that was the brake fluid.

When cars could move again he managed to get to the shoulder and go in reverse up the entrance ramp where he pulled over and told the turnpike attendants what had happened. He got towed and got a hotel for the night.

The next morning the repair shop told him that the brake hose had been installed incorrectly and was rubbing on something until it developed a hole and lost all the fluid. It was just a matter of time until this happened.

I had DH bring home the damaged brake hose and I later called the repair shop and asked a few questions. The brake hose was less than a year old, installed by BP Procare and I later filed a claim and they paid for the repair, the tow, the hotel and the car rental while the repair was being done so that DH could get our son to his college.

When I filed the claim I told them that we were all very lucky that the incident was an inconvience and not a matter of injuries or deaths.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:25 PM   #62
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Wow. What a lucky bunch we all are to be alive!
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:36 PM   #63
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This is another example of survivor bias. The ones who didn't make it do not have a chance to speak up.

I wonder if the 2nd list does not include some former posters who quietly faded away.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:55 PM   #64
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Wow. What a lucky bunch we all are to be alive!
I know because otherwise this ER forum would be really scary with a bunch of ghosts posting from the great beyond. Since I have never met the majority of you, hmm, did you all really survive all those accidents, or you just don't know you're dead?
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:02 PM   #65
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I know because otherwise this ER forum would be really scary with a bunch of ghosts posting from the great beyond. Since I have never met the majority of you, hmm, did you all really survive all those accidents, or you just don't know you're dead?
We're all passengers on the 'Flying Dutchman'?

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Old 01-15-2009, 06:53 AM   #66
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One of my old friends is super accident prone. IIRC, while in the army in Germany his tank platoon got lost (he wasn't in charge). The Tank antenna contacted a high voltage line which caused a tank shell to explode inside the tank, severely injuring the gunner.
A number of years later he was in avalanche at Squaw Valley which killed several and trap him under dozens of feet of snow for several hours. A fatal car crash for the other driver and severely injuring his wife was the next accident, followed by falling from the steep roof of his 2 story Victorian and escaping with only a broken arm.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:16 PM   #67
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I was duty officer on our deployed submarine during the June 1991 simultaneous eruption of Mount Pinatubo and the arrival of typhoon Yunya.

http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/forecaste...asting.4.1.pdf

We'd had a problem with the ship's diesel generator that required extensive repairs, so we were essentially stuck at the pier and dependent on shore power. That died around 5 AM, leaving us with only a discharging battery, so I got on board that morning just in time to help with a real no-foolin' emergency reactor startup. (Yes, Gumby, the Engineering Officer of the Watch actually said "Reactor Operator, latch 'em & snatch 'em.") Topside volcanic ash was flying so thick that we were wearing gas masks & helmets and shoveling it off the hull before it sunk us at the pier. It would land like snow and turn into concrete so you had to hack at it with the shovel to break it lose and kick it over the side. We were spraying firehoses at 200 psi solid stream (yee-haw!) to chip away the deposits but we were running out of water in our trim tanks, the shore water system was down, and the trim pump was not happy with the ash content of the harbor water. At noon the sky was black, the ash was horizontal, and the lightning was red. Thunder was simultaneous and you could feel the concussions. Ash was soon so thick in the harbor that it clogged the steam plant's seawater cooling systems, and the engineering department spent nearly 20 consecutive hours blowing the ash out of seawater suctions to try to maintain a vacuum on the condensers. Every non-essential load was secured to ease the strain on the turbine generators. Air conditioning & ventilation fans were among the first things to be declared non-essential, and soon we were down to battle lanterns & flashlights. The rest of the crew began trickling back aboard that afternoon, reporting that earthquakes had cracked the 5th floor of the barracks building and made them feel unsafe. It had been a busy day, but by now I was beginning to realize that people could die and we might not be exempt from that privilege. Everyone who came aboard was sent topside to shovel or back to the engineroom to learn how to blow a seawater suction. By dinnertime, diesel "repaired", we were so crazed that we were seriously arguing proposing to get underway down a narrow channel in zero visibility on GPS fixes in the middle of the nastiest thunderstorm I ever hope to see. Of course we would've immediately run aground-- no GPS signal could penetrate that electrical activity.

The volcano took an ash break and things settled down that evening to mere tropical-storm winds & rain. We lost a couple feet of draft that day (despite using nearly all the water in our trim tanks) but we managed to get ahead of the ash that night and eventually secured the topside work parties so that they could help blow the the seawater suctions. We had a chance to take stock of the situation, came to our senses, and elected to muster at dawn to get underway. About 20 of the crew spent the night trapped in Olongapo bar wreckage nursing their wounds and listening to people scream their lives away. Our corpsman led a rescue party out to town the next morning in a five-ton stake-bed truck and amazingly we found everyone-- banged up and needing stitches but ready to leave. Glad we moved early & fast before the looters thought to ask for the keys to the truck.

Once the crew was aboard we declared ourselves ready for sea and nobody argued. After being up for 24 hours I was numb from the volcano/storm noise and the caffeine. CO & I took the bridge and we got underway. Everything on shore was covered in ash and many buildings had collapsed from the weight. I saw a half-dozen P-3s at Cubi Point (under several feet of ash) resting on their tails with their noses in the air. Channel soundings were all 4-6 feet shallower than charted but luckily we had the channel all to ourselves. When we got offshore we were able to clear the last of the ash off topside and mostly out of the seawater systems but it got into every bearing & gasket of every seawater system and every mast. We limped into Guam and spent two weeks cleaning the boat and stripping the Navy's supply system of repair parts. Over the next year we ended up replacing a couple million bucks worth of pumps & masts.

All things considered it was a sucky deployment. We had missed our chance to contribute a few TOMAHAWK missiles to DESERT STORM and the crew had already asked to give up Singapore for "one last chance" at Subic. We tooled around Guam for a few more weeks and then slunk home.

But we salvaged one highlight. A few months earlier we'd had another close call while we were "conducting extended underway training and exercising freedom of navigation in international waters" at periscope depth off a "coastline of interest to national security". We had a couple feet of scope out of the water and we were monitoring some high-priority activity occurring nearby. I was in the control room listening to sonar noises from one of the contacts of interest, noises that we belatedly realized were giving a pretty strong hint of his next evolution. As we were opening our mouths to make a report our junior officer on the periscope froze and offered his own nonstandard contact report: "Holy ****, I see a periscope." The XO nonchalantly reached over and started lowering our periscope, prying the white/shaking JO off the handles before he went down the well with it. We hunkered down like scared bunny rabbits manly steely-eyed killers of the deep and continued tracking the contact, hoping that our crew didn't slam any doors or drop any wrenches in the bilges, and that the boat didn't bump into anything. Our recording gear continued to perform flawlessly, getting extremely detailed data that was of great use to a number of interested parties. Today that junior officer is much more senior but certain people still tease him about not getting a periscope photo at a crucial moment.

And for the rest of my life, things will have to get a lot more sucky before they're worse than Pinatubo.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:19 PM   #68
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I've had a number of close calls, but only a couple that weren't my own fault. The worst one was about 10 years ago. Was in downtown DC after catching a show at Blues Alley. Went walking down by the river (maybe this was my fault). I was walking by a couple of young dudes when a car came flying around the corner. A bunch of guys started shooting out through the windows, then the two guys on the street corner started firing back. I was standing in the middle sort of frozen at first. By the time I reacted and hit the ground it was all over. The car was gone, the dudes were gone, and I was laying on the sidewalk. As far as I know nobody got hit at all, but I swear there were at least 20 shots fired. I got up, thought about waiting for the cops, realized that was probably a bad idea, and ran all the way back to the parking garage where I had left my car. Sat in it for a good half hour before the shakes died down enough to drive.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:07 AM   #69
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I think about 150 passengers and a pilot have a story for this thread today. Something about landing on the Hudson river. Now I wonder if they'll remember it as a good day or a bad day. I guess any landing you walk away from (swim away from?) is a good one.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:11 AM   #70
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I think about 150 passengers and a pilot have a story for this thread today. Something about landing on the Hudson river. Now I wonder if they'll remember it as a good day or a bad day. I guess any landing you walk away from (swim away from?) is a good one.
From my experience in all forms of air transport (including hang gliders, and gliders) any landing you walk away from is a good landing.

The ones calling their lawyers while standing on said aircraft's wings, will call it a bad day.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #71
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Turns out bronchitis can act as extreme inflammation and a little piece of phlegm was all it took to close it the rest of the way. Nothing in my lungs, just inflammation. Both my father and I were flabbergasted. I spent the next 3 months on an inhaler to get the bronchitis under control, took 6 months before I could eat something cold without coughing.
I had almost the same thing happen in college - I woke up coughing all my air out, w-h-e-e-e-e-z-i-n-g in it in a tiny trickle.

In my case case the hospital said trachiitis, too. That happened around St. Patrick's Day, and I was still hacking up crud, or just wildly hacking, in June. A boiling hot NYC summer seemed to cure it.

Scary!

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Old 01-16-2009, 09:30 AM   #72
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From my experience in all forms of air transport (including hang gliders, and gliders) any landing you walk away from is a good landing.
And a "great landing" is any landing where you can use the aircraft again
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:34 AM   #73
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A different class of scary - I was a beginner fighting in a karate class, got clocked much too hard by a careless senior, and heard my neck go click-click-click.

Yup, Adrelaline time-stretch is really interesting.

Whiplash injury, etc. Kept training for another 16 years or so.

I still have some sholder problems on the left side from everthing getting stretched out.

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Old 01-16-2009, 09:34 AM   #74
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We were taking a 5 ship of small twin engine aircraft island hopping across the Pacific. When we took off for each leg the forecast weather had to be VFR (visual flight rules 1,500 foot ceiling and 3 miles viability) On the leg to Iwo Jima the weather man said all was good. No ceiling and 30 miles vis was the forecast.

At the point of no return we got an update on the weather, just in case. Things had changed a little, there was now a 10% chance of thunderstorms in the area but still forecast to be VFR. So we committed.

One hour out we sent our escort transport ahead to land so our maintenance folks would be there for us. About 15 minutes later we got a call from them 'You guys better push it up, it does not look good here'. Five minutes later another call 'You guys had better plan on instrument approaches'.

When we arrived at Iwo we were instructed to stack in a holding pattern. We were basicly holding in a series of thunderstorms stacked 1,000 feet apart. You would go in and out of the clouds and it was impossible to keep the aircraft at the assigned altitude. You would see 1,000 ft gain and loss of altitude almost instaniously. All you could do is hope the guy above you and below you were gaining and loosing the same amount.

First guy to attempt to land never broke out of the clouds and could not find the island. Second guy same thing. I was the third. I broke out, saw Mount Suribachi but no runway. Turns out there was a thunderstorm over the runway. I finally saw the first 20 feet or so of the overrun. There was no way I was going back into holding. I figured the runway had to be attached to the overrun, so I increased the landing airspeed and put it down. Upon landing, I called the tower

Me 'Tower - Misty 3 is on the ground'
Tower 'Misty 3 where are you'
Me 'On the runway?'
Tower 'We can't see the runway! We will send a follow me truck. Go to the end of the runway if you can find it and turn right hold for follow me.'

It took two more hours to get the other 4 aircraft on the ground. Last one landed with 30 min of gas. Squadron commander and Ops officer were on the support transport. At some point the CO handed a map to Ops and said 'Find me a runway to land these air planes!' Ops gave the map back and said 'What do you want me to do sh*t you one! We are 800 miles from the closest runway! That's why we are here!'

I actually think things were tenser on the ground than it was in the air! Other interesting thing, of the remaining 4 aircraft the average flying time in our aircraft was less than 100 hours!
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:38 AM   #75
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Other interesting thing, of the remaining 4 aircraft the average flying time in our aircraft was less than 100 hours!
Ah, but you picked up another 500 hours in grey hair from that!

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Old 01-16-2009, 09:43 AM   #76
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Other interesting thing, of the remaining 4 aircraft the average flying time in our aircraft was less than 100 hours!
Are you referring to the airframe or the pilots?
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:51 AM   #77
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Pilots. We had just transitioned into the OV-10. In the flight there were 3 1st Lts, 1 Lt Col, and 1 Maj. The 3 Lts the the Col had been flying the aircraft for less than six months! I had 11 years in the aircraft. Made a believer out of me. Not one of the Lt's volunteered for the next leg!
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:56 AM   #78
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Not one of the Lt's volunteered for the next leg!
They had a choice? I don't recall being given an option when we ferried a T-29 from Korea to the US. Were we in the same AF?
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:13 AM   #79
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On a motorscooter in D.C. some lady hit me with her car during an illegal turn. I flew (literally) over the hood of her car. Ended up with a broken wrist and a calcium deposit on my leg that never healed, and had to be taken out 6 months later. I am one lucky girl that that's all that happened to me over that accident.
However, I did take the money from the accident and lived off of it for 2 years in Europe...hee, hee!
I've had so many close calls in my life, I wonder if some of the risk adversion cells are dead in my brain....but I seem to be not unusual in this crowd.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:03 AM   #80
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5 aircraft, 15 pilots. Only reason they had a choice. Actually none of the 5 were scheduled for the next leg anyway. Something I omitted, was the crosswinds were at times greater than 45 kts and max gust 75 kts. It was a sporting day. Also an unpublished Precision Approach Radar with a minimum for the first aircraft of 1,500 and 3 and by the time the last aircraft landed 300/1. Never knew you could change the minimums for an approach in progress! But, what the hey, if it's not published I guess you can say it is anything you want.... and they did.
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