Emergency On Flight AC161

Our Air Canada AC161 plane nose dived to 10,000 feet in a hurry.

“F**k me!” exclaimed Norm, the neighbour to my right. He’s Daddy to a 6-week old baby boy. Our previous conversation revealed baby and Mommy stayed back in Toronto for a couple more weeks but Norm had to get back to work.

Just moments before, everything was normal for the 220 passengers on board. No turbulence. No drama.

The peaceful drone of our Toronto to Vancouver flight was punctured by a loud bang and the opening of our overhead compartments, exploding oxygen masks through the ‘flood gates’ holding them back from years of neglect, now dangling right in front of our confused faces.

The pilot – in his professional but hurried tone – pierced our confusion with alarming news over the loud speakers, “We’re experiencing loss of cabin pressure. We need everyone to be seated and buckled. Please put on your oxygen masks now…”

Sherman Hu - Emergency Flight

He informed us that the plane needed to make an emergency descent down to 10,000 feet as soon as possible, and a few other details I failed to catch due to the commotion of seat belts buckling and nervous muttering from passengers throughout the cabin.

Looking to my right, Norm wrangled the oxygen mask over his face. I followed suit. Looking past him, I saw a concerned Mother, deep-tanned from her vacation, assisting her 2 young children with their oxygen masks. The other passengers, now adorning their own masks and tightening seat belts, looked around the cabin, perplexed.

Passengers in shock and disbelief held on with nervous anticipation as the plane performed its steep descent. The emergency door seals in the back of the plane had loosened and caved to loud wind noise pushing its way into the cabin.

The passengers were surprisingly quiet. No one was screaming or freaking out, not aloud anyways. It could have been our response to the shocking reality of our situation.

It’s like a scene in the movies…”, I thought to myself.

Is there anything in my carry-on that I need?“, my thoughts ramble on. How silly. Like anything could matter at this time.

Am I ready? Is this it?“, as flittering images of my Sarah and our children flash through my mind.

NO. Damn it. I hated admitting to myself I wasn’t ready to go. It can’t be, not now. I want to see Sarah and the kids again. I had one more connecting flight before savoring the embrace of my wife of 14 years and the delightful hugs of our two children. We were starting a one-week vacation together as soon as I arrived from my weekend conference in Atlanta.

Norm’s sniffing interrupted my thoughts. His oxygen mask was off his face and he sniffed the air, curiously.

Interrupting the smooth flow of oxygen to my system, I lifted my mask to sniff the air too.

“Fumes!”, I blurted.

Squishing my face on the window to my left, I squinted my eyes at the wing to hunt for any fire dangers or blown engines. All safe here. Norm and I figured the fumes exited from the much neglected oxygen masks compartment.

The pilot burst through the speaker system again.

“We’re requesting everyone stay seated and buckled. We apologize we cannot make it to Vancouver and have to make an emergency landing in Winnipeg. Ground crews will inspect the plane there. Emergency vehicles will be on the tarmac awaiting but just as a precaution.”

Minutes passed, and finally, we could feel the touchdown onto the Winnipeg tarmac about to unfold. We’re coming in fast…

Rubbing my hands on my jeans, clammy from nervousness, I was glued to the view outside my window. “God, help us!”, I prayed.

I’ve never been so thrilled to hear tires kissing the tarmac…Screech…Bump…Whurrrr…TOUCHDOWN!!

We’re safe! We made it! Thank you, God, we made it! I joined the other passengers in clapping and cheering for joy.

“Can I kiss the ground now?”, I asked Norm jokingly.

Speed-dialing Sarah, I shared the good news of our safe landing with her. It felt good to hear her voice again.

“Thank you… thank you… thank you…”, I repeated to the flight attendants and pilot – who seemed quite shook up after this ordeal – and shook their hands with deep appreciation as I walked off AC161 with the other 220 passengers, blessed to be alive to see another day.

It would take another 6 hours before another plane and crew could be ready to fly us out of Winnipeg. Our midnight flight flew with many exhausted passengers to Vancouver, many happy to be back home. My connecting flight to Kelowna early the next morning only gave me 3 hours shut eye. It didn’t matter. I really missed Sarah and wanted to hold her in my arms again.

Upon arrival in the Kelowna Airport, I raced to meet Sarah. We embraced, kissed, and shared tears of joy. I savored the warmth of her embrace, and the thrill of kissing my lady once again. Hand in hand, we walked out of the airport to be greeted by the bright morning sun, fresh air, and a new day.

Have you (or do you know someone who has) lived through a terrifying life-and-death experience? How did the experience impact you (or them)? How do you (or they) approach life, family, friends, work and pleasure now?.

97 replies
  1. VancityAllie
    VancityAllie says:

    This post had me tearing up a little… what a scary story. Glad to hear everyone made it out okay. Kudos to the pilots and the staff for keeping you guys safe!

    I can’t imagine what that must be like… except that it’s pretty amazing you had a chance to take photos during all the commotion! I’d be peeing my pants!

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Allie, thanks for vibin’ with us on that experience! My brother-in-law joked that the first thing he would care about is having spare underwear to take care of his soiled pants! 😉

      Met a great lady, Mindy from LA, on the flight. She was so surprised that everyone was so calm as she was about to majorly freak out. “It’s a Canadian thing”, I replied, without skipping a beat. LOL!

      Definitely mucho props to the crew for landing us safely! A pilot riding at the back shared he’s never seen this in his 24 year career. Yikes!

      You know what? I should’ve recorded it all on my iPhone video! Allie, if you had taken photos, it’d look amazing with your Nikon – like the amazing pics on your blog! 🙂

  2. claire
    claire says:

    Well said Sherman. and YIKES! There are a lot of things I “need” to do to be “ready” (who is ever really ready?) to depart this world — so what am I waiting for? Thanks for sharing.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Claire, thanks for your response. Ultimately, I believe I would be ready, if push comes to shove. But I really wanted more precious time with my family. And I need to get biz straightened out to take care of my family when I’m not around. And I have so much more life to live too!

      “Live today like its your last” and “How would you treat the person you’re with if its the last time you’ll ever see them?” takes on new meaning for me now.

  3. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    Glad you landed safely! I too am amazed that you thought to take the pictures. It would not have even entered my mind to do that!

    I was on a flight once when we lost one engine. It wasn’t too bad as planes are designed to fly with one engine and we had a great pilot. As we approached the runway in the middle of the night, we looked down and all you could see was flashing red emergency lights waiting for us! That is when we realized it could have been much worse!

    Hope you had/are having a great holiday here in Kelowna and I am glad you are enjoying the fresh air as opposed to all the smoky air we have been experiencing this summer 🙂

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Thanks Shelly! I had to document it, for proof that it happened, a constant reminder for myself, and the fact that I’m a Twitter whore! Those pics shot to my Twitter stream as soon as I landed, and boy, did my friends get a kick out of that event!

      Speaking about losing plane parts, here’s the link to what we really lost on that flight. Scary!

      We had a great time in Ktown! We’re there every Spring and Summer, usually staying with friends. Missed the fires. We should connect next time I’m there 😉

  4. Mitch Baldwin
    Mitch Baldwin says:

    Well thank God you and everyone on your fight are safe!

    I was riveted reading the story “you might want to consider a novel or screen play”:) Really.

    The pics added a stark reality to the telling of your expeience.

    Live each day as if it were your last.

    I love those words and wish I would follow that advice each day of my own life.

    I can only imagine how it must have felt for you embracing Sarah when you first saw here.

    What a feeling that must have been.

    Best to you and your family Sherman.


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Thanks Mitch. Appreciate U reading the story and responding to it.

      “Live each day as if it were your last” is easier said than done. Have to be constantly reminded. Though much easier for me to remind myself, as a result of my recent experience 😉

      Reconnecting with Sarah was a true blessing. I wish I could capture that emotion in a bottle, and release it once in a while to absorb it.

  5. JustinJ
    JustinJ says:

    WOW Sherm! That is crazy! Becky was reading over my shoulder… It is so good to hear you are safe and sound! We will have to grab that dinner soon…! Cheers my friend!

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Justin & Becky, U bet! We have to get together, we’re soooo close 🙂

      You know my digits and how to get a hold of me, ya? Let’s double date before 2010 Winter Olympics comes around! 😉

  6. barn
    barn says:


    I can appreciate your [then] situation. Parked a bike in the radiator of a Plymouth back in ’69. Had my own personal ‘flight’ over the car … amazing how many thoughts can move through your head in a very short space of time. Saw the tunnel and the light, and I’m very glad you did not have to do that.

    No, I don’t sell insurance, but you might think about this as a wake-up call. Preparedness never hurts. ‘Course, as a marketer, you already know that, doncha ?

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      WOW, tunnel & light, eh? Haven’t experienced it, but would like to only once, at the end of my journey 🙂

      RE: Insurance, yup, taken care of. But it sure feel amazing to hug and kiss my wife and kids again!

  7. Lynn Shepherd, Woman's Life Coach
    Lynn Shepherd, Woman's Life Coach says:

    Sherman, so glad you are safe and with your family. We each hope we are ready for whatever life deals us, but that is seldom the case. Events like this deliver reality. The uncertainty of life is the only constant. We never know when our lives will be changed forever. Live life now. Love unleashed. Glad you are safe.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Lynn, you’re an angel! Thanks for your response and reminder to “Live Life Now & Unleash Love”. U ROCK!!

  8. Debra Garrison DVM
    Debra Garrison DVM says:

    Turbulence can be heck on an airplane. Fortunately, flying is still safer than driving. My near death experience was in driving. I was headed to work in a down pour and as I came over a hill in the freeway, the traffic on the other side was dead stopped. (this was before anti-skid braking) When I started to brake, my car skid and did a 1 and 1/2 turn in the middle of the freeway and came to rest facing traffic coming towards me. There were cars all around me and no one hit anyone. My 8 month old daughter was still sound asleep in the back seat, oblivious to what just occurred.
    Glad your are safe and it was great to see you in Atlanta.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Debbie, thankful for you sharing your experience with me. A miracle you’re safe, and especially your 8 month old daughter!

      Reminds me of a similar snow/ice skid down a hill (back in my high school days) in my Firefly, headed into moving cars. Car stopped just in time. Thanks for reminding me, totally forgot about that incident. Time to hit my knees and be thankful again for angels all around me! 🙂

      Thanks Debbie. Cheers!

  9. Joey
    Joey says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Sherman. I’m amazed you had the presence of mind to take pics during all this. I suspect you will remember this for the rest of your life. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to share your story with my email list at FamilyDads.com on perspective, the brevity of life, the “afterlife”, and the importance of our family when facing a life-and-death situation.


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Joey, thanks for reading and responding! You are welcome to share this with your subscriber base of Dads. In fact, I highly recommend it, and am honored to share my journey with them. Thanks Joey, Cheers!

  10. Dr. Kang-pang Chan
    Dr. Kang-pang Chan says:

    I’m so glad everyone was safe after all these alarming and nerve-breaking experiences!

    In Chinese wisdom, we have a saying that goes: “Blessed are those who experience a disaster with a gentleman.” ( Literally in Chinese, a “gentleman” is someone with integrity, good karma, and good blessing. )

    So, someone on board must be within this “gentleman” category – I’m sure a lot of them are – and it’s safe landing after all.

    God bless you and all yours.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Hiya Doc, thanks for blessing us with the Chinese saying… “Blessed are those who experience a disaster with a gentleman.” (Literally in Chinese, a “gentleman” is someone with integrity, good karma, and good blessing.)

      I’ll remember this every time my wife calls me a ‘gentleman’ 🙂

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:


      Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond, dude! I’m counting my blessings. And Sarah’s thrilled to have me home safe. (Thankfully, not pissed! 😉

  11. Anthony
    Anthony says:

    Hey Sherman,

    I’m glad you made it…the world really is a btter place with you in it!
    (And i mean that sincerely. Hug the family for me)

    Best regards


    PS You once taught me one of my greatest marketing lessons ever…it helped me build my career. Glad you’re safe

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Anthony, thanks for blessing me with your feedback! Appreciate U much!

      I taught you one of your greatest marketing lessons ever and helped you build your career??

      WOW, tell me what I said that made such an impact…I might need to hear it for myself 🙂

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Keith, WOW! Long time no hear! Do I need to experience near-death events repeatedly to hear from you? HAHA!! Thanks bro! God bless U & yours!

  12. Acey Gaspard
    Acey Gaspard says:

    So glad to hear it all worked out in the end!

    You know, an experience like this lets us appreciate each day. Sometimes we take life for granted.

    I’m sure all the people on board and there families have, a lot to be grateful for>

    Anyway Sherman glad to hear you are OK


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Acey, what a treat to receive your response. Thanks.

      Yes, I totally agree experiences like this lets us appreciate each day and not take life for granted. I know I have alot to be grateful for!

      Stay in touch, k? My Twitter handle is: shermanhu – Cheers!

  13. David Matthies
    David Matthies says:

    Kripes! That was a close one. Glad you’re had your wits about you, my friend, and were able to whip out your iPhone for a mid-crisis TwitterPic. These types of situations certainly separate the Social Media Amateurs from the Pros, eh?

    Seriously, Sherman. Glad you’re still around to tell the tale. NONE of us are ready to see you go just yet. I’m hoping to grow old as neighbors to you guys along the shores of Lake Cuomo.

    My mom’s coming down next week for a stint. Maybe you can send some HP Sauce along with her, or something real Canadian like that. :-0



    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      David, THANK U, brother! Looking forward to growing to be old farts together with our families! LOL!

      What can I say, I’m a Social Media Whore! 🙂

      You don’t have HP Sauce in California? Sheesh!! 🙂

  14. Sheila Martin
    Sheila Martin says:

    Ohmigosh, Sherman. That was a nail-biter! (Even though of course I knew you’d survived … or you couldn’t have written your story!)

    I’ll bet you’ll find that the experience — and your gratitude for life — will resonate within you for years to come.

    Warmest wishes from across the water…


  15. Wilson Mattos
    Wilson Mattos says:

    Sherman…dude…that’s crazy. I am really glad you are safe!

    Reading this made think of how much I love my wife and soon to be born baby. It is just so important to enjoy life to the fullest every day, isn’t it?

    Although these experiences are tough to go through, coming out of them is like a second chance to enjoy life even more. Rock on dude! Thanks for sharing so that we may also get our second chances to enjoy life more…without having to wait for such a wake up call!


    P.S.: Only you would think of taking pictures at a time like that! 🙂 hehe

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Wilson, thanks bro! Apprc8 ya! Lovin’ on the loves of your life is what its all about! Here’s to second chances for all of us, eh?

      And yes, I’m a Pic Pimp! 🙂

  16. Henry Griner
    Henry Griner says:

    I was just checking Facebook to see if you were online to ask about WP spam injection problems and I find your story. Wow, bro. Sure glad you and the other 219 made it down OK.

    My last flight from Atlanta back to MSP was really a wild and bumpy ride. Never had it so wild. Stuff dropping out of the overheads and sounded like the tail was going to come off for awhile. I was in the second to last row so we were really flipping out.

    I just started to pray and then put on the iPod with some wonderful worship music. I soooo wanted to be home with my wife but figured if it was going to be my time I would start praising the Lord on this side. LOL

    Good to have you still with us. God Bless.


  17. Ann
    Ann says:


    I’m so glad you’re safe! And you had the presnece of mind to document it too – you got nerves of steel. Your love for Sarah is like a silver lining in your posts.

    p.s. — why did you hate admitting you weren’t ready to go? Who is? God has waay too many plans 4U.
    🙂 A

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Thanks Ann! Had to document it, either for myself OR when they find the remains of the plane after. Thank God it was the former, eh?!

      Sarah ROCKS MY WORLD! So thrilled to be together again with my Queen 🙂

      Yes, I believe He has much in store for me yet…

  18. Yisel
    Yisel says:

    Wow Sherman!
    WHAT an experience!

    Glad to know you are safe and sound with your loved ones.

    Thanks for sharing with us and reminding us what is really important.

    Felt like I was right there.


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Crazy huh, Yisel? Thx, apprc8 ya! I know you’re thinking of your daughter. Blessings 2 U & her!

  19. Lennie Appelquist
    Lennie Appelquist says:

    Holy Sh&# Sherman! I am glad you are safe. What I can’t believe is that you actually took a pic while wearing the oxygen mask…

    Well – now you do have on hell of a story!

    Rock on Sherman –


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Lennie, thx man! Apprc8 ya! I had to document it somehow, no? How else are peeps gonna believe it actually happened? LOL! ROCK ON, Lennie!

  20. Jody Colvard
    Jody Colvard says:

    I’m so happy that you got home safe and sound Sherman! You are an amazing writer, you had me on the edge of my seat and tearing up with emotion feeling what you went through. And the pictures, so cool…you are a true journalist, thinking ahead, knowing how powerful the visual image would add to your experience. Whooo, what a ride!
    Jody Colvard

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Thank you, Jody! I lived through the experience so I could write it just for your reading pleasure

      Apprc8 ya, Jody! Thanks for vibing with me through the roller-coaster recap. And thanks for your props & luv! Cheers, bella!

  21. Nick Grimshawe
    Nick Grimshawe says:

    Hi Sherman,

    I’m very happy to see you arrived safely back to this fine earth. On a purely selfish note, I haven’t done learning from you, so there is no way! Got that.

    I lived through an Earthquake in LA many years ago and the feeling was scary as anything I have ever experienced. Suddenly the earth you have trusted all those years was no longer safe to stand on. The after shock where the worst. I think the same must be true in your case too. Once you get through it all, the realization hits…just how close you came.

    Thanks for sharing and the photos.


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Nick! Gr8 2 hear frm U again, such a long time!! OK, OK, I’ll continue teaching ya 😉

      Thx for sharing about your earthquake incident, that WOULD be scary! Keep on rockin’, Nick!

  22. Ray Prince
    Ray Prince says:

    Hey Sherman, talk about ‘squeaky bum’ time! Thanks for sharing this to perhaps remind us all what *really* matters (BTW, I can just hear your laughter when you landed!).

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Ray, what really matters *really* *does* *matter* in that instant, doesn’t it? And yes, I did laugh out loud when it was over! 🙂

  23. David Hamer
    David Hamer says:

    Amazing story Sherman! Glad you all made it safely to the ground – I bet you value things in a different light now!

    Years ago I got stuck upside down in a canoe on Lake Bala in Wales for what seemed like ages (my life flashed by anyway!) The canoe was a bit too small for me and my knees got trapped – anyway a lot of serious wriggling and cut knees and legs later I was bobbing above the very cold water.

    I’d rather go through that again than have any plane emergencies – not sure my heart would hold out!

    Best wishes – Dave

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      David, thanks for sharing your canoe/lake story! WOW! That would be frightening gasping for air and getting stuck in very cold water!

      Here’s to seeing the light and staying top-side and dry! 🙂

  24. PamDodd
    PamDodd says:

    What a story! Obviously since you got to tell it, it turned out okay. With my heart racing, hanging on your every work, the back of my mind was quietly saying, “Only Sherman would be taking pictures of what was happening with the hope that he’d be able to publish them to the web.”

    So glad you and your flightmates are safe. Live every day like it’s your last.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Thanks for the shout out, Pam! U know me, brain always a-churning 😉

      Here’s to us living each day like it’s our last!!

  25. Janet Sherwood
    Janet Sherwood says:

    Sherman, Some “close calls” seem to last an eternity; others only for moment. Whether on the highway or in the skies or just the split second before you slam into the ground face down while on skates, they all remind us of the fragility, the insubstantiality of our lives.

    These times, if we’re blessed to live through them, truly wake us up to the truth that people, most especially our people, are more important than any thing. The trick is not to go back to sleep. For we really do only live right now. And if we live right now awake and aware, those “nows” become sustaining memories for ourselves and our loved ones, the evidence of a life well-lived, of love.

    For my part, I’m glad that you survived this “now” and look forward to hearing you many more times in the futures “nows” that we may share.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Janet, thanks for your wise words! Was it you who “slammed into the ground face down while on skates”? LOL.

      Here’s to you & I LIVING RIGHT NOW! 😉

  26. Dr Renee Lascala
    Dr Renee Lascala says:

    Sherman, I thank God you are unharmed and reunited with your loved ones.

    Even those headphones couldn’t cancel the noise of airbrakes for what must have been a harrowing 20,000 foot descent.

    Inasmuch as you reported the oxygen masks and their environs had been enclosed and neglected, I encourage you to be vigilant for any respiratory or flu-like symptoms in yourself, or fever, eye inflammation, etc. Who knows what bacteria were potentially able to survive within the emergency aeration system, or how any of the cabin air was recirculated during the crisis.

    Just a precaution from the medical side……while emphasizing the joy we all feel that you are remaining on Earth.

    Dr Renee LaScala

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Hiya Doc! Renee, thanks so much for the shout out and the precaution! I’ll keep an eye for any possible issues. Cheers!

  27. Robert Nelson
    Robert Nelson says:

    Hi Sherman,
    incredible writing… I stay offline for one day and look what I miss.
    The mind is remarkable with the thoughts we have when we experience traumatically shocking events.

    How many “I wish I had…” moments came up during that flight?
    What are you doing about them?
    Extra underwear in carry on comes to mind 😉

    I read somewhere that we come within 2 seconds of dying 10 times a day!

    I have had my share of “close calls” over the years and can relate to your thoughts of your wife and kids.

    Counting our Blessings that your “moment” ended well …. and will be sharing
    your thirst for life for many, many, years to come.

    Drink well and often, my friend!


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Rob, thanks buddy!! “We come within 2 seconds of dying 10 times a day!” – really??!! WOW!

      Here’s to us sharing a thirst for life for many years to come! 🙂

  28. T & J Burt
    T & J Burt says:

    OMG!! I have tears steaming down my face as I write this. I am sooooo glad it was a happy ending. What was the name of the pilot? Theresa’s husband is a pilot for AC. I have a feeling this experience won’t deter you from flying ever again. What does Sarah think of that?

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Hey Tania, my old neighbour!! How’s things? Thanks for the reading this and responding! Thanks for your tears too 😉 Don’t know the pilot’s name. Sarah and I haven’t spoken about flying again as it won’t be for awhile yet – but I don’t believe it’ll be an issue 🙂 Chat soon!

  29. Sierra Friend
    Sierra Friend says:

    WOW Sherman… I’m so glad your plane landed safely! What a crazy experience. Think this will affect how you feel about flying in the future?

    Glad you came out of it unscratched! …God is at work, reminding us of what is most important! 🙂


    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Sierra, my friend! God is GOOD, isn’t He? I believe He has more in store for me to do and be yet 😉 I’ll still fly, just takes too long to drive to Atlanta from Vancouver 🙂 Thanks for the shout out, Friend!

  30. Wayne Kelly
    Wayne Kelly says:

    WOW!!! Sherman, that’s unbelievable! You look calm cool and collected on the plane! Call me when you’re back.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Thanks James! I would’ve jumped out of a plane willingly too when I was single 😉 Stakes too high now, “I’m out!” 😉 Thanks for reading and your shout out, man! 😉

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Dulcita, looooong time no chat! Hope all is well with family, biz and health!

      Crazy times, eh? It was surreal. In fact, that memory runs often in my head. If for nothing else, a very strong reminder to live in the moment & treasuring Sarah and my children every step of my day. Stay in touch, k? Cheers!

  31. Nicole Dean
    Nicole Dean says:

    This world needs you, Sherman. YOU make a difference in people’s lives.

    Thank God you’re safe. I can’t lose my new friend after just meeting you. We’ve got too much good to do yet. 🙂

    Big hugs to you and to your beautiful bride on being together safely. And, thanks for the email to let me know about this.

    So, priorities? Direction? Would love to hear if this changed anything for your future plans.

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Hey Nicole!! Thanks for your support and props! You are right, we have much to do yet 😉

      Nowadays, my mind is constantly reminded of that memory. So I’m making each moment count (as best as I know how) and treasuring Sarah and my children throughout the day. Business priorities haven’t changed much. Gotta rock them out sooner than later.

      Chat soon, k? Cheers!

    • Nicole Dean
      Nicole Dean says:

      Just googled this post to see if a year has changed anything after this event. 🙂

      So, my friend? Staying true to the feelings you had this day?

      Hugs to you and your beautiful bride and kiddos,

  32. Lorna Allan
    Lorna Allan says:

    Wow Sherman, That was a scary one for you! Your number wasnt up and an angel was sitting on your shoulder. Doesnt it make us appreciate life to the fullest.
    I had an experience to remember also on a flight from Japan to Australia some years ago. We struck serious clear air turbulence and the plane just plummeted straight down, no chance of any control. This kept on occurring and the crew kept us totally informed. My girlfriend had her fingernails into my arm saying were going to die! I kept patting her arm saying no, we will be safe. The crew know what they are doing and they want to come out of this alive too. The first and second time the crew had just poured drinks and I watched fascinated as the liquid floated out of my cup and up like a silver snake. Now I know how they do that in the movies! When we finally landed everyone cheered and clapped for the crew. The crew told us they had never experienced it so bad before. Luckily for me somehow I take those things as they come and remain calm all the time. I am more likely to collapse in a heap when all is safe. Like saying Whew and my legs going out from under me. Still thats good in an emergency.

    Last year I spent some hours in a storm in the Gulf of Alaska, just two of us on a 37 foot tug boat hanging on for dear life. The waves were so steep and broken up and it fought us all the way. I just looked at my friend and thought this boat can handle anything as long has he can stand up to it (otherwise I was going to have to take over!) and then sent up a prayer for us and let it be. My friend kept saying can you see the line yet – meaning the navigation line but I couldnt as we had gone too far out trying to get beyond the waves. At one stage he asked too often, like 30 seconds after the previous time and I said ‘No I cant! How does Russia sound!” Then realized what I had done and looked at him, said sorry and laughed. It lightened the experience.

    That evening safely in shelter and sitting on the deck eating the most amazing BBQ’d steaks with huge baked potatoes, looking out on one of the most pristine and beautiful places on earth we watched the sun set, bears walking on the shore, deer appearing now and then and eagles fishing and feeding their young. Nothing felt better than those moments. This was heaven….

    • Sherman Hu
      Sherman Hu says:

      Lorna, you’re a pro at this, eh?! Man alive!! Livin’ large, livin’ adventurously, and livin’ in the now…

      Dig what you said, “…sent up a prayer for us and let it be..”. Brilliant and wise words!

      Thanks Lorna. God bless U!

  33. TymB
    TymB says:

    Hey Sherman,

    Looks like this was a lot more dramatic than the flight that we shared TO Atlanta. Glad everything went well. My family and I also got back from a week of vacation – zero internet or cell coverage, which was excellent.

    PS. I’m still working on getting a Mac 🙂 Be cool.

  34. Trilby Jeeves
    Trilby Jeeves says:

    Oh, my goodness Sherman… I had no idea. I, too, was in tears by the end of your recounting. What a scary situation to experience. And, the return home. Extra sweet, & beautiful. Times like these certainly add to a healthy perspective on giving gratitude to what we have.

    I’m glad you and Sarah are our friends. We’re glad you are still here!

  35. Brandie Kajino
    Brandie Kajino says:

    Wow, this struck home with me today. Over the weekend, our family went to the beach. We were caught up in a sneaker wave, and my son was knocked off his feet. I turned around to see my husband pulling him up out of the water. It all happened so fast, and I am so thankful we are all ok. My son was upset that he lost a shoe, but I was so happy he was ok. Covered in sand, whining, coughing, complaining and crying, but alive and with us.
    Thanks for sharing you ordeal. I am so glad you are ok and with your family again.

  36. Gary Huynh
    Gary Huynh says:

    Holy crap Sherman! I’m really glad nothing bad happened. The worse I’ve been in is stuck in an elevator! At least you kept your composure enough to take those photos!

  37. Sam
    Sam says:

    Sherman – great write up – the exact same thing happened to me on a flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas. I had recently become a Christian – so the experience was a little different for me than it would’ve been 3 months earlier. A little more peace with the real possibility of meet my maker.


  38. Beverly Boston
    Beverly Boston says:

    The first thing that came up when I read this was the words, "changing your course!". Not only on your adventure with your plane ride, but also in your life. The impetus for change is often a wake-up call, and I would say this is about as loud as it gets. What is rare, is that you listened to your instincts, trusted your gut, and most importantly listened to your heart to make the changes to your course in life.

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