- Posted August 2, 2012 by
Smoke in the Cabin at 38,000
We have all heard about safety and Russian airline flights so being a bit apprehensive we boarded the jet early in the morning, closed our eyes and woke up in St. Pet.
What we did not expect was an in-flight emergency on our Lufthansa flight from St. Petersburg, Russia to Frankfurt, Germany.
The Lufthansa flight started off normally. It was a beautiful Airbus, clean freshly painted and on-time. The flight was full of Russians, Germans and Americans.
We settled into our seats, took off, ate and fell asleep. 30 minuted into the flight a stewardess woke us up and said the captain was declaring an in-flight emergency and we were landing in 10 minutes.
Our emergency landing strip was Riga, Latvia. I said to the stewardess, where is Riga, displaying my ignorance. I looked out the window and all is saw was water (The Baltic). I was sure that if we went down we would get wet and never be found.
After a rapid descent we approached the airfield, saw at least 10 fire trucks following us, several hundred emergency people on the ground and other emergency equipment.
The next morning the following article appeared in the German media:
"A Lufthansa Airbus A321-200, registration D-AIDK performing flight LH-1461 from St. Petersburg (Russia) to Frankfurt/Main (Germany), was enroute at FL340 about 70nm north of Riga (Latvia) when the crew reported smoke in the cabin and diverted to Riga for a safe landing about 25 minutes later. Responding emergency services found no trace of fire or heat"
The Lufthansa pilots were great! The people at the Riga airport were awesome! The only question I have is where is Riga? For a small country like Latvia, the Riga airport was more modern and cleaner that most U.S. airports which I have flown through.
The message is: The safety briefings that we all endure every time we board a flight, sometimes become relevant and important.