Dean's reaction to boom heard on United Flight

By Sara Tubbs

May 30, 2014

Imagine being on a plane and hearing a loud "boom!" That's exactly what happened to Dr. Anthony Hancock, Associate Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, during his flight to Washington, D.C. last week. He modestly described the experience as "interesting to say the least". 

The "boom" rang through the United Airlines jet cabin with just an hour left of the flight. Dr. Hancock could see and feel the plane losing altitude. He and his fellow passengers waited "the longest two minutes ever" for the pilot to explain what happened. "Engine problems. A compressor failed." He had to divert the plane from Reagan National to Dulles Airport because they needed a longer runway to land with just one engine to slow the plane down.  While it was a tense situation, everyone seemed calm in the cabin. "I was calm, but inside I was concerned, worried and processing the situation," Dr. Hancock said.

After a fast descent, a rough landing and the pilot riding the breaks for what seemed like an eternity, they made a sudden stop in the middle of the tarmac. When he looked out his window, he saw first responders rushing towards the plane. Fortunately, they were there as a precaution and no one needed medical attention.

A plane, bus and many prayers later, Dr. Hancock sat in his hotel room reliving the experience when it finally hit him. "There's nothing you can do but ride it out. I was alive and everything is right in the world." After spending a few days in our nation's capital representing HCC Southwest for a cyber security conference, Dean Hancock considers himself blessed to have both feet back on the ground.

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