- Posted December 28, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Emergency Landing: "Screw It, Let's Do It"
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
First we watched the Virgin America "safety video," which is presented as a music video, complete with pop music, dancers and lots of attitude. I could barely understand what to do in an emergency, since the voices of the dancers, singing potentially life-saving information, was so auto-tuned and spastically choreographed, the instructions were practically incomprehensible. In the event of an emergency, my nearest exit could be “behi-i-i-i-nd me?” Wha-a-a-at? If this plane goes down I’d be singing: “I’m so-o-o-orry for trampling you-u-u-u, I was caught up in the beat!” I had to wonder – Is this song available on Virgin Records??
As wheels went up, we heard a loud: SCREEEEEEECH! Followed by another SCREEEEEECH!, and another. I was terrified. We felt vibrations and heard sounds I've never heard before in all my years of flying. Ten minutes into the flight, the pilot announced: “The hydraulics have failed.”
Then we're heading back to Seattle for an emergency landing.
As we roll down the runway and pull into the gate, red and blue emergency lights flash all around us. We park next to another Virgin America plane. Shaken by the experience, I look over and see, branded on the Virgin plane next to ours, the statement:
“Screw it, let’s do it.”
“Huh,” I think, “That sounds familiar…” Oh yeah! That’s the name of Richard Branson’s new book: Screw It, Let’s Do It.
Now let me be clear, I think as a book title, “Screw It, Let’s Do It” is a good one! But as a human being who just endured an emergency landing on a Virgin America flight with faulty hydraulics, the last thing I’d expect to read on the side of a plane from a fellow fleet is: “Screw it, let’s do it."
Richard Branson is a titan of industry. Scratch that– he’s a titan of industrIES; aeronautical, musical, astronomical. I’ve seen his episode of “Cribs.” He owns an island, upon which he has built a private toilet that empowers him to
relieve himself while looking out upon the vast ocean without a soul to witness him.
Well, Mr. Branson, I witnessed you today.
As I sat on a runway, shocked by an emergency landing of YOUR plane, I witnessed your message to the world, including the four-year-old sitting next to me: “Screw it, let’s do it.”
Is that the lasting message you want to convey to the masses?
Is that the last thought that went through your pilot’s head, as he lifted hundreds of souls 10,000 feet into the air with faulty hydraulics?
I sit here now, in the Seattle airport bar, seeking comfort as I wait for word on when I’ll get to see my family in LA. I think: “Should I have another margarita?” Since I don’t know how long it’ll take for my faulty Virgin America flight to be rescheduled, I conclude: “Screw it, let’s do it.”