PCA 2012: Shirley you can't be serious?


Or: "Terror at 30 feet."

Flying to Nassau from almost anywhere else in the world involves a dramatic change of pace. From the bustling hubs of places like London or Atlanta, you arrive in a fluorescently lit hall, to the sound of a live tin-pan band and staff welcoming you to their beloved Bahamas. There's even a bar in the baggage hall from which you can watch others frantically looking for their luggage while you sip rum and coke.

But for one plane load of players, tourists and at least one member of the press, this dramatic change took place just after take-off this morning when the twin-engine ATR-72 short-haul flight he was on from Miami was forced to land just a few second after leaving the ground.

Erik Rosenberg was on board the stricken aircraft, which suffered a cracked windscreen before the pilot made an emergency landing.

"The plane took off, then circled and immediately landed," explained Rosenberg, sitting in the press room after catching a replacement flight two hours later where he's currently reporting on the Super High Roller for a Swedish blog. It's a relief to see him here safe, not only because we like him but because we usually lift his stuff and pass it off as our own.

The view from the cockpit of the cracked windscreen

So was there panic? Did anyone have to get a hold of themselves? Were there any singing nuns? Any gladiator movies?

"It was calm in the cabin," said Rosenberg, who was unaffected by the incident but is now a 60-a-day man. "But the captain told us nothing."

This was fine for some, but others were less impressed.

"One passenger confronted the pilot afterwards, telling him that he should have told them what was happening," explained Rosenberg. "But he said he had about fifty voices in his ear from the control tower."

It meant anyone wanting to know the situation, how cold it was outside for instance, or at which point they should brace, had to wait.

That was the extent of the drama, although there has been no word on the cause. All passengers are now safely in Nassau, the airline finding a replacement plane to get everyone to their scheduled destination. Albeit for one passenger, a stewardess actually, who, shaken up by the unscheduled aerobatics, chose not to fly and will now, we can only assume, be relocating to Miami.

Thanks to Erik Rosenberg for the story and for the photograph taken from inside in the cockpit, presumably while the pilot was finishing his panic attack on the tarmac.