I went to Toronto and Cambridge, Ontario yesterday for a quick day trip meeting. Flight out was at nine, then drove to Cambridge, had my meeting for several hours, then back to the Pearson airport to fly home at 7. So after bumping into an old friend who I hadn’t seen in years in the airport, I trooped onto the plane as usual, the doors closed, and we pulled back from the gate. We taxied out to the runway, the engines cycled up to full power and we were on our way.
Or so we thought. In fact, just a smidge before takeoff the pilot noticed a problem with an engine and he “rejected the takeoff”. This means putting on the brakes as hard as possible, cause you’re not getting off the ground and you want to stop before the end of the runway. I, and I imagine many others, were sure that there had been some mixup and that a 747 was about to land on us or something.
In fact we simply taxied back to a gate, got off and everyone got on a new plane an hour or so later, same boarding cards and everything. So an easy jaunt turned into a never-ending day, but at least we didn’t lose an engine in mid-air and have a real problem.