For the captain

Being on board the A380 that day was an amazing experience in so many ways. I have always been fascinated with aircrafts and I was excited to see what the biggest jet on the planet was like. Once we had taken off for the first leg of the flight from London to Sydney, I realised how quiet and smooth it was despite its four engines and grand size. I happily started watching a movie, enjoying the long flight. I was really happy I was on board, leaving Sweden with my friend Fredrika to go on a working holiday in Australia which we had been excited to do for months.

I had a window seat behind the left side wing when we took off from Singapore. A few minutes into the flight, I was looking out the window when I heard a loud bang, and then saw flames coming out from the inner engine. This was shortly followed by another bang, as well as lots of black smoke from the exploding engine. At that moment I was terrified, knowing there was fuel in the wings and fire in the engine, I quickly concluded that it wasn't good at all. I was actually almost certain I would never see my family or my friends again. During the first minutes I thought about all the people in my life that mean the world to me and I mentally told them I loved them soo much.

One of them was sitting next to me, my friend Fredrika, and she was trying to calm me down all that time we spent in the air with an engine on fire. Despite the situation there was no chaos among the passengers. People were talking to each other about what just happened, but there was no obvious fear. I was really scared in the beginning, but when the flight crew started talking to us I began hoping we might make it back to the ground after all.

After what felt like an eternity we finally made an emergency landing and that was when I quit thinking I was going to die. It was a bumpy ride down the runway but when we had stopped, all of the passengers started clapping and we were shouting words of relief. The crew was very kind to us and definately helped in calming us down. After a long time during which we had to stay in the aircraft, we walked out down the stairs from the plane and what I remember the most from this moment is when I turned around and looked at it. I was alive.

We spent a long time in a gate at Changi airport after the incident. Me and Fredrika were trying to get some sleep when a girl named Maja started talking to us since she had seen my blue hoodie I was wearing that said I was a Swedish student. She was alone and so the three of us stayed together in a room at the hotel in Singapore that night. Funny thing is that she is the same age as us and has grown up in a city very close to our home town in Sweden, so that is yet another proof of how small this world actually is.

We made it to Sydney one day later after flying with a Boeing 747. It had been a surreal and strange experience and we were so happy to have finally arrived to Australia. During the six months that followed, we had the best time ever in Australia and me and Fredrika had a great time with our new found friend Maja. Back in Sweden, we are now three students in three different cities and we don't know where life will take us. But we will forever share this experience.

For me personally I think the incident has been been both the worst and the best thing ever happening to me so far in my life. It has been the worst because I will never forget the feeling of actually thinking - for a relatively long time - that I was going to die and never see my family or friends again. I cannot describe in words what that felt like.
But even more it has been the best thing happening to me, because I have realised so many things about myself and I see life in a different way now. I honestly don't think I would have had such a great time in Australia if this had not happened. I enjoyed (and is still enjoying) living so much more than I did before, and I carry this experience with me every day. And I will always remember to be grateful for everything I have in life.


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