I was flying on a CRJ-200 today that just gave me the willies. Seriously, from the awful lavatory to the excessive amount of
moaning snapping and groaning popping (in retrospect, snapping and popping seems to be a more appropriate description) and creaking from the underside of the airplane underneath my feet in 8C, the exit row, I just couldn’t stand the thing. Every bump, it creaked. Every movement of the flight controls, it creaked. This was especially noticeable in the descent which was slightly bumpy. The guy across the aisle remarked that he was writing down the tail number for his files so he wouldn’t fly on this particular airplane again.
Seriously, I’ve flown countless flights on 50 seat RJ’s and smaller turboprops. I myself have over 2,000 hours in aircraft of various sort as both pilot in command and second in command. I know airplanes make noises, but this one was just beyond anything I’ve experienced. We landed in PHL. One of the gentlemen on board remarked to one of the ground crew about the odd noises. I have no idea if there was really anything wrong with the airplane or not. If I had truly thought it was dangerous, I would have said something. But I did make a silent decision. I said to myself that if this aircraft was the one flying me on to Baltimore, I was taking the train. I deplaned into the terminal and turned around to see that this, indeed, was my aircraft to Baltimore as I had suspected based on my arrival and departure gate information email. I thought for a minute, and then I said I’m done flying today. I told the agent I wasn’t going, got in a cab, and headed to 30th Street station and Amtrak Acela to DC.
I got home, and that airplane got to BWI. Do I feel a little silly? Not one damn bit. Make fun of me in the comments if you want. 🙂