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My deepest condolences to SJ182 passengers and family

– I would say it was one of my ‘luckiest’ day.

Dont take anything for granted. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

On January 8, I had my flight from TRT-UPG-CGK. It was a smooth flight from Toraja to Makassar, only 45 minutes. Since my first flight was rescheduled 3 hours earlier, I had to wait for 6 hours in Makassar Airport. My next flight to Jakarta was Sriwijaya SJ591.We should departed at 18.15, but delayed until almost 19.00. I boarded the plane and realized I got the seat 17F on emergency exit. What a surprised. When the steward explained the emergency procedure, I did really pay attention and try to simulate it in my mind afterwards. I checked all the details on the door. Usually I just go to sleep one I sit comfortably and try to ‘pay attention’ to the explanation for the sake of appreciation.

Just before took-off, I check my phone. 19.00. It was smooth take-off.  The weather seemed nice.

Until it happened.

Suddenly the plane shaken and fell down for couple of second. I woke up, opened my eyes, looked at the window and I saw an ‘orangy’ thing in the engine, probably it was a fire. It was like only a second. I am sure it was not a flash light from the wing, because it’s not red.
At the same time I heard people start to scream, praying. I was dumbfounded.

Everything just popped up in my mind.
“I will die this time”
“Its gonna go to the water!!!”
“I am not ready yet”
“How about my family?”
“I have to prepare”
“How many second do we have???”
“I have to pull this red lever in the door once we get the water surface”
“What if we cant make it?”
“Please, give me another chance”

**I cant explain how exactly was the situation back then, too much!.

Trying to be calm, I reached the life vest below my seat. Wear it as I explained and then helped the man besides me who was struggling to find out to wear the vest.

Luckily, the plane can be stabilized again.
I check my phone, its 19.15. It means we have 15 minutes to get back to Makassar.

Then the plane turn around. During the flight, I fixed my eyes on the engine. I was afraid another ‘fire’ will ignite the fuel inside the wings.
That 15 minutes was like hours for me. I keep praying and tried to calm my self. But my mind always brought me back.

What if……

Later on the pilot gave an announcement that we were going back to Makassar, however we can not just landed Immediately, we need to wait about 5-10 minutes. The plane had to make turn round for 4 times before landing.
I was fully aware that it was ‘normal’ since they must clear the path and informed the other flight to give us way.

souce : flightradar24
source : flightAware

Suddenly I heard phone notification. 

“Someone is activating his phone??? In this situation like this? You make it even worse!” 

I want to text my family too, but I know it was a very selfish action.

And then we could proceed to landing. 

“This will be a critical moment”
There were lot of fire-trucks standby down below with their flashing light.
I know it wont be an easy landing, since one of the engine was failure.

Hopefully the landing wont trigger another ‘fire’”

It was one of my hardest landing ever. It was ‘silent’ in the cabin, until the plane hit the ground. The plane was shanking, loud noise.
Seemed the brake system had to work extra, the wing mechanism on the right side can not helped.
Finally, we get full stop.

Thanks for the pilot and others crew who could handle the emergency situation very well.

It was a relieve.

And then there was an announcement again.
“This plane will be toyed to the safe place by the truck. However, we need to wait for about 30 minutes since the brake-oil is too hot”.

I checked the other passenger, they did not use the life-vest. Were they too panic or too calm?

I asked the man behind my seat if by any chance he saw something in the engine. He did not see anything, he was sleeping.
Couple minutes later, I decided to go to the back and met the flight attendants.
I explain anything that I saw, probably it will be very handy during the investigation.

After the brake system was normal again, we are toyed to the safe place and disembarked the plane and went to the airport building.

“Please go to the Gate 2. We will depart soon at 10pm” the ground staffs directed us immediately after we arrived.
“This is for Sriwijaya?” I tried to ensure.
“Yes Sir”

“We almost die up there just couple minutes ago, and then you guys ask us to fly again?”

I scream in my mind. I was too tired to complain. I just want to sit and take a rest.

I was really upset with their treatment. The others passenger also seemed really angry.
We went to the counter and complain there. Some people couldn’t hold their anger and started to shouting while crying to the officer.
It was very understandable.
How come they treat passenger like that?

At the end, we were given three choices.
– Refund
– Reschedule
– Fly with the other plane

I was confused, which one should I take. I decided to take option three.
If I refund I have to find hotel nearby. It will be a hassle to find good one and ‘clean’ since it was pandemic situation.
If I go to my relatives home, there is a chance I ‘bring’ virus to them.

Last option is not an easy option either. I had to deal with my trauma.
I prayed for a nice and calm weather.

I contact my sister and explain my condition. I informed her when we take off and how long does it take to reach Jakarta.
So, she can ‘rest assure’ while waiting until my next message reach her.
I asked her not to tell my family about the incident.
Actually my mother texted me where was I. I said that my flight was delayed, so I still in Makassar.

“Lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place”
I tried to convince my self, the next plane should be okay.

Thankfully, It was a smooth flight with ‘minor’ turbulence.
I played musing during the flight. I count how may song I need for the two hours trip.
It was reaalllyy long flight.
However, it still freaked me out when there was a ‘thud’. Just like when one passenger closed the compartment above with loud noise.

We arrived at Jakarta around mid night.
I booked a taxi and get home safely.

Next Day. Afternoon around 5pm.

My sister texted me.
“Have you heard about missing flight of Sriwijaya air? I saw it in social media”

I google it immediately, and when I see the searching result, I start trembling.

I called my family and tell my experience.

I cried.

“We have to be thankful, I get another chance” I said.

For the next couple days, I refrained my self to read or watch the news. It still gives me goosebumps.

– It could be me.

SJ591 and SJ182 are different plane. SJ591 is model 737-800 and SJ182 is model 737-500.

But, an incident and an accident in the consecutive day?

“Lightning doesn’t strike twice at the same place?”

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