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Pilots Share Mid-Flight Scares Their Passengers Never Found Out About

The Sky High Club... of death!

Flying is not for everybody. There is no such thing as a perfect flight. As a passenger we're not privy to the truth of the journey every plane takes. But our Captains are aware. And they know some things and have some stories we probably don't want to know but can't help but need to hear.

Redditor corrosive_elements wanted the Captains of the Sky to share some secrets.... they asked... Pilots of Reddit: what was your "Oh no this is not good" moment that turned out to be okay without the passengers knowing about it? If you have flying issues, go take a pill before you read.

Just kidding....


Private pilot here. Flying a small 4 seater about a year after getting my license at 17 to take may parents to lunch at Harris Ranch in BFE central California. There's a small runway next to a monsterous cattle farm that has a delicious restaurant that I swear they must walk the cow straight into the kitchen and out on a platter.

When we left Sacramento the seating configuration was my small framed mother and myself up front, and my 275 lb dad in the back. This led to a center of gravity to the rear situation that required me to set the trim forward to stay level our the nose would keep drifting up.

Flight to HR was uneventful and we had a wonderful lunch but for the return trip we decided that my dad would sit up front and my mom would move to the back. Stupid 18 year old me didn't follow every step of the preflight checklist and I forgot to retrain the controls to neutral before taking off.

Started down the runway for takeoff and as soon as I hit speed I realized my mistake that with the new weight distribution the CG shifted forward, as well as the controls trimmed forward, I pulled back on the yoke to rotate and it didn't budge. Never in my life has 1000ft of remaining runway suddenly appeared to reduce to nothing. To make things worse the end of the runway was an elevated road leading to an overpass with cars on it.

I literately wrapped both arms around the yoke and pulled back with all my strength to get the nose wheel to slightly lift off the runway and the plane slowly inches off the ground. The embankment to the road got closer and closer and I had visions of emergency crews having to scrape us off the surface, leftovers and all.

As we approached it became clear that we were going to just clear the road but I saw a pickup approaching the road and I wasn't sure we weren't going to collide. He saw us coming and slowed to a stop and I swear I was able to look straight in his eyes as we cleared the road.

When we were safely clear of trees and obstructions I was able to let go with one arm and reach down to turn the wheel that trims the controls.

As I was thanking my lucky stars to have survived the day my dad was muttering at me something like, "very funny. I didn't eat that much."

Both he and my mom assumed I was making a joke because my dad ate a huge lunch and thought I was acting like the plane couldn't take off.

I never told them the truth about how close a call that it actually was, nor did I ever forget to reset the trim before takeoff.


In flight training, we were practicing stalls. While doing a power on stall, pulling back to lose airspeed, I notice another plane coming at us, probably 100 yards away. I immediately throw the nose down to avoid death and my instructor looks at me with a weird look. He didn't see the other guy. He tells me that not even close to the stall speed and I tell him about the other airplane. He says "oh yeah, good call." On the way back to the airport I ask him if he's had any experiences like that. He said he's come so close that he could see the whites in the other pilots eyes. Flying VFR can be fun.


Know your skills... 

So had just recently gotten my private pilot license - no instrument rating. Decide to fly the wife out to Ocracoke in the Outer Banks for a little get away weekend. Checked the weather very carefully, prepped for the flight the best I could. Just as we get to the Carolina coastline the sky starts turning a wierd Brown. Very light drop in visibility but I get a little unsettled. I turn back overland and check in with flight service and get weather for several points on the Outer Banks - which all checks out good. I think about it then decide to turn back toward Ocracoke - which means flying about 20 miles over water.

About half way across visibility has gone to complete shit. Sky all around me is brown and I can't see a clear horizon I can barely make out the water below me. I am on course according to the GPS and I keep thinking about the clear weather reports ahead. I know I'm approaching the island, but I can still barely see the water below me from 3500 feet. I know from my prep that the highest obstacle in the area is about 500 feet so I decide to descend to 1500 feet. As soon as I crossed the beach it got worse - the color of the sand below matched the brown of the sky and I started to get disoriented. It was like being wrapped in a brown cotton ball. I focused on staying on course, wings level and holding 1500 feet. Suddenly below I got a glimpse of the runway as I flew over it. I f**ked up here and decided I was not going to fly away where I couldn't see the runway. I flew a tight pattern descending keeping my eyes locked on the runway and not on the instruments. I didn't realize how disoriented I was getting till I saw I was below 500 feet, I thought I was level but was in fact in a bank. I got it straightened out and reset my brain a little, got lined up for the runway - airspeed and attitude ok. Right at touch down I realized that since I couldn't really make out details of the ground that my visual clues were all shot and didn't understand just how low to the runway I was - my normal sight picture was f**ked, basically I almost drove it right into the runway but fortunately recovered and make a reasonably smooth landing. I had been making some radio calls but couldn't see the opposite end of the runway. Finally got parked under a completely obscured sky. When I parked I found another guy chilling next to his Cirrus. Turns out the whole area was under smoke from a peat bog fire and visibility was below limits- not VFR at all but apparently flight service didn't know that. He congratulated me on my skills - not knowing that my hands were shaking.

My wife thought the whole thing was great :)


Once More with feeling...


Yes I am a pilot and CFI. Scariest moment was when on intro flight and coming back into land. Student is doing super well everything cool. We were cleared to land, number one, from 4 miles out. On short finals (less than a mile out) another plane appears over to top of us and lands on our runway. Trying to keep cool, I take the controls, ask tower what's going on, start a go around, simultaneously side stepping to get out of their wake. Turn to my student and say, so shall we try that again?


A rumble in the sky...

CFI (Certified Flight instructor) here. While teaching my student how to do a cross country, we got blindsided by two pop-up thunderstorms. There was a 20 mile wide corridor to fly down back to base, according to flight service, so we cut our trip short and headed home. Played it off cool, said "This is a great time to practice diversion and good decision making" but I was terrified.


Flew tourists and odd jobs in Phoenix for a couple years in an R44. Going in for a landing at a remote site in the middle of the desert. Just as I was about to drop into a hover, drain my speed, I noticed just above my feet a trike motor paraglider just cruising under me only a couple feet above the ground and maybe 5 feet under me. Very cool like, did a 180 and told pax I was worried about the landing spot, so I went pretty far in a different direction while watching that little idiot in my skid mirror. I quick flipped to a couple open channels to try to raise him and didn't get a reply so Im assuming he was without a radio. Still to this day Im wondering how in the hell did he get in behind and under me so fast when I was probably cruising at 80mph? How in the hell did he keep that thing solid under my rotorwash? And why in the hell would it be a good idea to fly under a helicopter when it is about to land. A couple people Ive talked to have said he probably didn't even notice me. Im just gonna go to the grave believing some people wanna live on a razors edge...


Low, low, low, low... 

I'm a pilot but I don't have passengers normally. A few years ago I was flying pretty high in the clouds (36000 feet or so) around some very high mountains, (about 26,000 feet) and our GPWS (ground proximity warning system) started having an electronic seizure. "TOO LOW TERRAIN, TOO LOW GEAR, TOO LOW FLAPS, TOO LOW TERRAIN" After freaking out for a few moments, we remembered we were higher than the tallest mountains in the world let alone in the area and released the seat cushions from our butt cheeks. I then told one of the crew to pull the circuit breaker for the GPWS to turn it off.


Dad to the rescue...


Oh I got one! When I was a teenager my dad was earning his pilots license, it was the best we always got to go on lessons. We all liked his instructor and had him around for dinner often and he and my dad would make sports bets. Well instructor Chris lost and the payment was a ride with him on this twin engine just for fun. It's a clear night so we go and Chris and dad are flying, and my mom, baby sis, and I for in the back. My sister fell asleep before we even get to the runway.

We take off and immediately something is very wrong, suddenly loud bangs all over the plane like metal is hitting it and the plan pitches crazy. My mom had a headset so I reached over and grabbed one side so I could hear. Chris is freaked out but I heard my dad say calm, "we fly the plane first and panic later" then start radioing others we are circling back for emergency landing. At this point my mom grabs the headset back and I just sat still. They landed the plane perfectly. Turns out there was an outside compartment on the nose of the plane that was open so on take off it flew open and a bunch of stuff hit the plane. We got out, all of us shaken, and then my Lil sis pipes up, "daddy are we going to fly now?" we all just lost it laughing.

My dad can't fly now, but I'm saving up. Next time he comes to visit, I'm going to make sure I've had a few lessons and I'll take him flying this time. Those flying lessons were some of the best moments of my childhood.


Fly High! 

I'm a helicopter pilot. I was doing a tourist flight and was flying low (~ 50 ft) in between rock formations to impress my passengers and give them a nice time. I've done this flight multiple times, everyone always love that low pass and I usually love it too, except this time I saw a prey bird flying higher than us right over our flight path and I was unable to diverge as I was lower than the walls around me. You have to know that most birds usually try to avoid big noisy thing flying near them, they do so by swerving left, right or down. Prey birds are also known to sometimes attack big noisy flying things by diving at them. It all went pretty fast and thankfully the bird didn't do anything stupid like throwing itself into the main rotor. We landed safely a few minutes later and my passengers went on their way without suspecting anything. I'm more careful now when I make this flight.


Miscommunication is dangerous...


The first time I flew a plane, I nearly crashed into a helicopter I went heli skiing on the day before. For some reason they only operate on their own frequency so we didn't know they were there, and they didn't know we were there. The flight instructor took over and it ended up being fine. Quite a shock though.



People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.