As my flight took off I settled into my seat and closed my eyes. It was December 2014 and I was leavingfor athree Weektripto Arusha.Tanzania, to help organise a charity conference.
I’d been volunteering for Gifts Of Health, Which promoted traditional medicines, since I’d graduated theyear before. I’d taken time off from my secretarial job in Oxford for the conference, and I couldn’t wait. İt Would be a million miles from my nine to five routine, and evenings spent Watching TV with my boyfriend Alex, 29, also an office temp.
I Wasn’t scared offlying, I just wanted to sleep so that the eight hour flight Would pass quickly. I’d been toTanzania once before, and fallen in love style and trends with it. I Wanted to open my eyes and be back in Africa.
The nextthing I knew, I woke up with ajolt. The plane had just dropped, but the cabin was stili dark. I peered at my Watch we’d been flying for five hours.
Then we started to descend again but this time even steeper. People started to wake up and look at each other, slightly alarmed, but I tried to reassure myself it was just turbulence.
Suddenly we lurched downwards and people started to scream. My stomach was in my mouth, and I felt the Weight of my body being pushed back in my chair. I could hear style and trends crying and luggage started dropping from the overhead lockers.What the hell was going on?
For a moment we levelled out, but then we plunged down again, this time even faster.
I looked around desperately for an air hostess. I Wanted someone to teli us what Was happening.The man next to me got to his knees and started praying in Arabic.Then oxygen masks dropped from theceiling. Oh myGod,
I thought panicking, We’re going to die.
Then suddenly the plane pulled level and we were flung backWards in our seats. People quietened down and everyone sat in shocked silence.There Was the odd sob or Whimper as We Waited for another descent, but as the minutes passed.the plane seemed to have style and trends settled.Then an announcement came Over the loud speaken’This is your captain. A madman just broke into the cockpit and tried to kill us.
People gasped and cried out as he explained that a passenger had broken in.turned off the autopilot and seized the Controls, plunging the plane downwards. We’d dropped 10,000 feet in just över a minute, but after a violent struggle, the pilot and a passenger had managed to overpoWer the hijackerjust in time. If We’d carried on falling for just another four seconds.the plane Would haveflipped över and We Would ali have died.
The pilot reassured us the hijacker Would be in a straitjacketforthe rest of the flight, but just knoWing he Was stili on board Was terrifying. HoW had he got on the flight in the first place?
HoW had he broken into the cockpit?
We had tWo hours left on board, and ali I could think about Was hoW close l’d just come to dying. I thought about my parents, Alex, my friends ali completely oblivious to What l’d just been through.