27/03/2017 16:42 BST | Updated 27/03/2017 16:42 BST

Pilots Reveal The Scariest Moments Passengers Were Blissfully Unaware Of

'Got struck by lightning the other day.'

They say ignorance is bliss, so if you’ve got a fear of flying, look away now.

Pilots on Reddit have been sharing the scariest things that have happened on board that passengers were completely unaware of.   

We all know that driving a car is more dangerous than flying, but that doesn’t stop these tales giving us the shivers.

Read on at your own peril. 

MatusDuda via Getty Images

“We flew right through a flock of birds on takeoff, about 500 feet above the ground. Everything went fine, we didn’t hit anything but we could very well have ended up in the same situation as ‘Sully’. I don’t think anyone in the back noticed anything, but it sure as hell got the adrenaline flowing.”


“If your captain is telling you to remain calm, because there is going to be some turbulence, then there is going to be some turbulence. But if he ends that sentence with ‘cabin crew, be seated’, then shit is about to go DOWN.”


“Got struck by lightning the other day, that wasn’t fun. Scared the shit out of the both of us.”


“I had just received my private pilot license and was flying around the area with my dad in a rented C172. We had landed at a local airport to stop and use the restroom, get something to drink, etc.

“Well, in my noobish excitement, I had never retracted the flaps after landing. Didn’t notice before taking off again. First sign of an issue was that the plane wanted to lift off much earlier than it should. I should have taken this as a cue that something was wrong, but I did not. I let the plane dictate what I was doing despite knowing something was off. We started the climb out. I finally noticed the flaps were at full. I immediately reached down and lifted the lever to fully retract them. That was my next mistake. The plane was now rapidly losing lift and I began to sink back down ominously close to the trees at the end of the runway. I flipped the lever back down to about halfway to stop the flaps from retracting further. This stopped my sink and I was able to gain some speed and resume climbing. When I was in the clear I finished retracting the flaps.

“My dad was completely unaware that I almost flew us into some trees because I made a stupid rookie mistake. I didn’t do the proper checks before takeoff. Furthermore I let the plane dictate my actions despite knowing something wasn’t right. I used that as a lesson in the future to never skip safety checks.”


“Not a pilot, but I was a passenger when I overheard a flight attendant speaking to another saying ‘they’re gonna try flying over it’. Shortly after, the pilot announced we would be experiencing some turbulence from a nearby storm. They weren’t kidding. That shit hit the plane so hard we had to make an emergency landing in Louisiana. Apparently some electronics were damaged, so we had to switch planes.”



“My Dad has been a commercial pilot for around 35 years and the only thing he recalls that fits here was (a couple of decades ago) a severe build up of ice, that meant even at full throttle/flaps he was losing altitude.

“This quickly turned into a pan-pan call [urgent call from plane] followed by a mayday a few minutes later. Everything was fine, however he did watch them take the ice off the front of the plane after they landed, the nose cone ice came off in one piece and was so think you couldn’t see through it.”



“That time there was something on the wing.”



“Flocks of birds like to appear out of the grass when rolling down a runway for takeoff. It happens a lot more than passengers would like to know but usually it’s a non event. Every once in a while though that flock will appear right in front of us near rotation speed and we just hope they’re gone by the time we moving through that space.”