When I was a kid we were moving from Colorado to Washington. The morning had started off well enough. We were running late in a rental car and of course my mom got pulled over a couple of miles from the airport. I think her tears got her out of the ticket.

We unloaded our baggage and our three nervous dogs and handed them over baggage check-in agents. My sisters and I then separated from my Mom since she needed to return the rental car. Us kids managed to get to the gate while they were loading the plane. We waited and waited and finally they made the final boarding call and our Mom was still no where to be seen. They closed the gate door and we sat there in the empty terminal. A few minutes later our mom arrived in a frantic desperation. She pleaded with the gate agent to let us on, but wasn’t able to get them to let us on the plane. The agent was nice enough to get us seats on the next flight a couple of hours later.

The next couple of hours were uneventful while we waited for the next plane to arrive, but once we were able to load the plane, the real fun began. My sisters, mom and I were all separated since we weren’t originally intended to be on that flight. Once we got in the air at cruising altitude the rough turbulence began. The captain explained that the skies were going to be rough for most of the flight, but he would do his best to make the flight as smooth as possible. The DC-10 was shaking and jarring. People were clenching their arm rests and closing their eyes in prayer. The flight attendants suspended all of their services.

About an hour into the flight smoke started emanating from the rear of the plane with a distinctive burning plastic smell. A handful of people got out of their seats and headed toward the front of the plane (still bad turbulence). At the same time the flight attendants rushed toward the back. There was a bunch of commotion and loud noises and few minutes later the captain came back over the speaker and told everyone what had happened. He explained that there was an electrical fire in the rear seating area that had been contained with a fire extinguisher. They had cut power to that area and there was no longer a safety issue so we would be continuing on to our destination. They moved everyone that was sitting in that area to the empty seats in the front of the plane.

The next hour or so was mostly uneventful. The turbulence was still pretty bad and the seat belt sign remained lit, but people were relaxing a bit more. Then all of sudden the oxygen masks dropped and some alarms went off. People began freaking out and commotion ensued as everyone began fiddling with the masks to get them put in place. The flight attendants came out to assist people with the masks and then a few moments later the captain came on. He explained that to avoid some of the turbulence the aircraft begun flying at a higher altitude. Apparently he flew too high which triggered a pressure change and the oxygen masks to deploy. After a bit of time the flight attendants came through the aisles and told people the masks were no longer needed.

The rest of the flight was okay, aside from the lingering burning plastic smells and the dangling Oxygen masks. When we got near to Seattle the sky was completely clear and there was a nice heavenly view of Mt. Rainier. We landed and the entire plane cheered and clapped. I guess everyone thought they were gonna die after the events that had transpired.