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OU Student experiences plane scare on way back to Ottawa

By Brynden Grow
On November 22, 2021

Photo Courtesy of Carlos Yudica/

Ottawa junior Olivia Kloster experienced quite the scare on the way back to Ottawa this past week. She made a weekend trip to Nashville, Tennessee, to be with family and friends for her 21st birthday. 


On the way back, she had hopped on Southwest flight 1161, and not long after takeoff, she heard a very concerning noise.


“I had my headphones in, listening to music fairly loud to keep me awake after a long weekend. We had just gotten off the ground, and within the first couple of minutes after takeoff, I heard a large bang come from what seemed to have come from the right side, back half of the plane,” Kloster recalls. 


“I was sitting in the first middle seat on the left side of the plane. The best I can describe the sound is if a large object were to fall off of something and the rattling sound that would follow.” 


The following events would shake up even the most experienced fliers.


“The plane then started to shake a little, not enough to shake my whole body but enough for me to feel it,” Kloster says. “I looked outside of my window to the left of me, and everything seemed to be fine from what I could see of the plane. But I noticed that I could see the lights of the city again, when before the bang, I could not. My body felt as if we were losing altitude as well. You know the feeling we all get when we are descending normally? This feeling stopped and my flight went on.”


After an interesting first part of her flight, Kloster’s experience never ceased to stop being strange. The landing, in particular, was also very rough.


She says, “The landing was the worst I had ever experienced, and I fly on planes a lot! It was very shaky and more bumpy than usual. People from the back half on the ride side of the plane started to clap and cheer. But I was back in Kansas finally, so I did not think too much about it until I noticed when I looked outside and there were flashing lights and we were not moving closer to our gate we would normally get off at. The speaker came on and one of the flight attendants gave us an update: ‘At the beginning of our flight our right motor was not functioning properly and was acting up. So we are going to have the fire department come check us out before we move anywhere closer.’”


Shortly after the announcement, the plane moved toward the gate to commence the inspection.  


“As soon as we got to the gate, the door was opened and one Southwest worker and two police officers came in and went right to where the captains were and started knocking on their door. This all happened before my row -- the first row -- even got up to get out. As soon as I was off the plane and in the airport, the plane was surrounded by police and fire trucks.”


However, even this crazy event isn’t enough to stop her from traveling.


“I love to travel and this has not happened before,” she says. “Definitely a scary experience, but it will not stop my love for travel.”

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