One of my co-workers just sent this note around to the company...I found it quite interesting. I'm glad that everything turned out okay for him.
I thought I’d share my latest airplane story. Some of you know that I have a tendency to not be very lucky with air travel. Most of the time it is just a simple flight cancellation, a major delay, a misrouting or lost bags. There have been three occasions, however, when the problem was actually with the plane. These include an emergency landing due to an engine failure over the Brazilian rain forest, a nose gear extraction problem in Amsterdam and this last one that happened to me just yesterday.
I was sitting in the KLM 767 in Amsterdam bound for Atlanta, GA. We were on time taxiing to the runway. Nothing was out of the ordinary and we started accelerating as usual. The plane was rather quite given that I was in a seat close to the left engine by the window. As soon as the nose left the ground everything became silent and we slammed back on the runway. It was not any worse than a rougher landing Now the plane started to slow down at an unusually high rate of deceleration. We obviously had gone past speed V1 when the pilot has to make the decision if they want to proceed with the take off. (You have to abort the take off prior to reaching this speed if there is something wrong. Then there is V2 which is the speed when you actually have to lift the plane so we must have been at V2 already, so there must be a pilot error involved, too) Anyway, the plane was shaking real bad as we were slowing down. The force pushing us forward was also above normal.
We finally came to a complete stop and got off the runway. All of this happened so quickly that I was not scared until after we had left the runway. The captain started to speak in Dutch so I had to wait another minute or so before he repeated it in English. It turned out that one of the engines would not spin up to the take off RPM. So we taxied to a remote location in the airport which considering the size of Schipol took about 8 minutes. When parked again, some technicians showed up and they spun up the engines with the brakes applied so as not to let the thrust move the plane forward. In about 5 minutes, they declared everything to be nominal and we were allowed to proceed to Atlanta after getting refueled. They decided to get more fuel so that we can cruise at a higher speed to minimize the delay. The second take off attempt went smoothly although that was the freakiest one of all on my records of 205 takeoffs. (I am a nerd so I count my take offs and touch downs) What scared the hell out of me was that they actually did not say to have found the cause. They just said the problem appeared to have gone. Problems don’t just go away in my mind.