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    Posted December 28, 2013 by
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    Emergency Landing: "Screw It, Let's Do It"


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     While on a Virgin America flight from Seattle to San Francisco on December 28, jillianlnash says their plane had to make an emergency landing back in Seattle's Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after the pilot announced that the hydraulics on the plane had failed. As the plane made it's emergency landing, she noticed out her window the phrase "Screw it, let's do it," a phrase that was printed on the side of the plane. She says she was disgusted by the sight of it. 'I was shocked that an airline would put a message like that on the side of their planes. It conveys a complete lack of safety of any kind,' she said. Thankfully, the plane made its emergency landing back in Seattle's airport safely and ambulances and rescue authorities were on the tarmac as an additional precaution. She says the phrase is distasteful and hopes that the airline's owner Richard Branson will remove this phrase off the sides of his planes.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    As soon as we took off on our Virgin America flight to Los Angeles, we knew something was wrong.

    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.”

    Bottoms up.
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