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A flight to remember...
United Airlines flight UA949 from London Heathrow (LHR) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on Saturday 8th November 2008 was not the usual daily flight. I was enjoying a glass of red wine, which actually costs $5 on United, at 37,000 ft while watching the flight progress on my screen. I had two seats for myself by the emergency exit as the B767-200 was half empty so, it was a really comfortable flight. We were flying over Canada approaching the US border when all the lights went off and the plane felt like slowing down. I noticed that the flight attendants looked worried. I knew that the engine on my right was in trouble. After a few minutes, Capt. Bob Stevenson informed us that the right engine had failed and we had to land in Montreal. We flew for an hour with one engine and landed safely at Dorval Airport. The pilots did an excellent job and proved that training for the most impossible situations can be useful sometimes! I was asked by the cabin crew to be prepared to open the emergency door and slide if we had to evacuate the aircraft in Montreal but I was also told “if you see fire, do not open it!” Engines are not supposed to fail and the Captain told me that anything could have gone wrong. The biggest worry was an explosion or fire but as the Captain explained to me, he and his First Officer have all the necessary training with simulators just in case… Congratulations to the pilots and cabin crew for looking after the passengers during and after this difficult flight. It was definitely a flight to remember!