What I Learned When The Plane Went Down


I have flown hundreds of times and I know people who travel 2x’s a week for business. Many people have flying anxiety but I have always looked at it as the easiest and safest way of transportation. In statistics, driving is more dangerous, with more than 5 million accidents in a year compared to 20 accidents in flying.

The probability that you will be in a plane incident is one in a 11 million. I am one in 11 million.

On Friday, June 2nd, 2017, I was onboard Delta’s boing flight 889 from Atlanta to Raleigh when the engine exploded at 10,000 ft. in the air. 

I was watching The Middle. (one of my mom’s favorite shows) when there was a loud BOOM and the plane started shaking. There were screams throughout the cabin and flight attendants started telling us, “Stay calm!”. I opened the window shade and saw that the engine exploded and the wing was now on fire. My seat, 37A, was right over the wing and I could feel the heat of the fire on my side. 

The woman next to me and I joked how lucky we were in the beginning of the flight that the seat between us was empty. But now I’m not sure how lucky or unlucky we are… I brought my legs to my body and took the fetal position. The woman, Annie, took my hand and we prayed as tears streamed down my face. The cabin was filled with a heavy silence as the plane was going down.

Annie asked me about my life; my family, my accomplishments, my job and I cried out, “I’m too young to die”. Annie was an angel trying to distract me from the impending doom. She promised me we’d survive this and I’d see the people I love again. She kept her promise.

After what felt like terrifying hours, we touched the ground. The pilots performed a safe and amazing emergency landing in Georgia. I began to sob out of relief. I am not very religious but someone was watching over me that day.

As I closed my eyes and feared death, I only thought of three things.


My family flashed through my mind. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to my mom, my dad, or my sister. I also thought about my sweet boyfriend and our puppy, how much they needed me. How would they react? Would they be able to move past this? What was the last thing I said to them?

Your family is the MOST important aspect of your life. Your job, social status, fashion, etc. doesn’t matter when the plane is going down. You wish for more time with your family. Cherish the time you do have with them and manage your priorities. 


Material things don’t matter

I was curled up in the fetal position wearing my new Express dress, expensive heels, and Kate Spade purse —all things I was insistent on NEEDING. But at this moment, none of this stuff mattered!!! Material things mean nothing at all. What matters is your impact on others and what you choose to do with your time on Earth.

From now on, I’m going to be much less materialistic. I’d rather spend my money on experiences, others, and working towards my dreams.


Life is short

I was mad because there were so many things I still wanted to do. I thought about how I’d never see Ireland, watch my sister get married, or ride a motorcycle. It felt like I had wasted so much time. Every minute counts.

Life is short and it’s up to YOU to make it sweet. So, stop wasting time and go after what you want! (Eat the damn cake.)

We often take time for granted and it’s not worth doing something if you don’t enjoy it. You should be in love with every aspect of your life.

My life is forever changed because of this experience. It was my ‘Kim Kardashian robbed in Paris’ moment. Too soon? ?

Recently, I’ve been quiet and distant. However, I am surrounded by wonderful family and friends who have been supporting me. I’m very jumpy —loud noises, quick movements, or heat scares me. And it saddens me to think of all the places I probably won’t be able to travel to now.

Tell your loved ones how you feel, jump at every opportunity that is presented to you, go after your goals with an intense passion because life is a gift. I woke up in LA on Friday morning never expecting that the day could be my last. That’s why it is SO important to live every day to the fullest. 

I am one in 11 million. 


What are three things you are most thankful for in life?

What’s on your bucket list?  

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  1. thebarefootangel

    That sounds like a truly terrifying experience! One that I struggle to even comprehend… Thank you for sharing your story – you’re right, everything gets put so clearly into perspective at a moment like that. I hope that you don’t let this experience hinder your adventures and that you can move past this with some time and go on to continue your travels. xx

    09 . Jun . 2017
  2. Kate

    Oh my gosh I can’t even imagine- I hate flying but I do it- this is what I fear each time. Thank God you’re safe. Thank you for sharing.

    09 . Jun . 2017
  3. Tori

    Wow – what a terrifying and life altering experience. My dad is a pilot and I used to not understand the intense training that they have to go through twice a year. Now I totally understand why they do, and why they’re put through scenarios like this – so they can keep everyone on board as safe as possible and land the plane. While I hope that you will be able to heal in time, I also think it’s so important to take some personal time for yourself and move at your own pace to recovery.


    09 . Jun . 2017
  4. Annaliese

    Carly I am amazed at your bravery in sharing this experience! Just wow. I am so thankful that you are okay- God was definitely watching over you and the other passengers and crew that day. <3 <3 You're so right in that plane crashes aren't really something on people's radar these days, but they absolutely can still (rarely) happen. Again- so happy you are okay!

    xoxo A

    09 . Jun . 2017
  5. Chelsea

    Wow, what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing your bravery! Sometimes it takes something as terrifying as that to make you realize what’s important in life. 🙂


    09 . Jun . 2017
  6. Zander

    Wow, that is an insane story.. Glad to hear that you made it through relatively unscathed, and you’re absolutely right about living life to the fullest rather than worrying about those material things that don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.


    09 . Jun . 2017
  7. Carly

    Wow, what a scary experience! I am so glad you are safe. Sometimes it takes insane moments like this to show how much we need to cherish the people in our lives. Thank you for being brave enough to share because it leaves a reminder to everyone reading!

    09 . Jun . 2017
  8. Malissa at Quotation Re:Marks

    Oh my gosh – that would be so scary! I can’t even imagine. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I hope that you are able to overcome your new fears and continue flying again.

    09 . Jun . 2017
  9. Molly

    Oh my GOD. This is crazy!!!! I’m so glad you’re ok. I am terrified of flying, so this really hit home. Thank you for the message about family and materialism.

    09 . Jun . 2017
  10. Jackie

    Wow what a story. I just got off a plane a month ago and was so happy to be right by the wing. You don’t think about anything like that happening and it does. You are so right and we shouldn’t be taking things for granted and living each moment. Thanks for sharing your story and thank goodness you are alive to tell it.

    09 . Jun . 2017
  11. Linda

    What an amazing experience. I know people who faced death and survived and the experience changed their lives forever for the better. So glad you are okay.

    09 . Jun . 2017
  12. adriana

    Oh my GOSH this is so scary! I cannot even imagine – I hate airplanes as it is, but I don’t let it stop me from flying because of my love for traveling. I am so happy you’re safe and okay – what a life changing experience!

    10 . Jun . 2017
  13. Quinn Caudill

    Lots of good news here. Not only did you survive but the chance of something ever happening to you again is nill. Enjoy your life and fly often. You made it!

    10 . Jun . 2017
  14. Tiffany Khyla

    My goodness. This is such a scary story, and it really makes me think about my priorities. I’m so glad you’re okay and that everyone on the plane was able to walk away safely from the situation.

    10 . Jun . 2017
  15. Rachel Ritlop

    Wow! I am so happy you are okay! that sounds terrifying. Love the lessons that have come out of such a horrible experience though <3

    10 . Jun . 2017
  16. Melissa

    Oh my god! What a scary experience. I’m used to turbulence. It’s pretty common around here. But that is on another level. I have read other articles telling about how you don’t know when if that was the last time you will see your loved ones after you say goodbye. So I always make sure to tell them I love them before I have to go somewhere.

    I’m so glad you are okay!

    xx, Melissa

    10 . Jun . 2017
  17. Alix Maza

    OMG how terrifying! One time the one engine just quit working and scared the s#!t out of us, but exploding?! My gosh I would’ve been a mess haha.


    10 . Jun . 2017
  18. Helen

    Wow! This is such a scary story. So happy you are safe and alright.

    10 . Jun . 2017
  19. Sydney

    My dog, My parents and my boyfriend are 3 things I need and I am happy. I have flown my whole life starting at less than 9 months old. I have been lucky to never be in any dangerous situation but they do happen.

    10 . Jun . 2017
  20. Natalie

    I cannot even imagine how this had to feel in moment. I would’ve been crying and clinging to the person next to me–not that it would help if the plane was actually going to crash, but I would crave that personal comfort during such a stressful time. I think it’s a testament to how hard pilots work that they were able to get the plane under control and manage an emergency landing. I’m SO glad you’re okay!

    11 . Jun . 2017
  21. summer

    Wow, that’s intense. Greatly written post with so many important reminders.

    11 . Jun . 2017
  22. courtney

    That sounds like an absolutely terrifying experience and I don’t think I would have handled it any better than you but I am so happy that you and everyone else landed safe and sound.

    11 . Jun . 2017
  23. Christina Shoemaker

    Oh my that’s so scary! I’m happy you’re okay and it sounds like you had some powerful takeaways from the experience! PS I used to live in Raleigh and I love the area!!

    11 . Jun . 2017
  24. Anna

    Literally got chills reading this post! So glad that the plane was able to land and that you’re okay!

    11 . Jun . 2017
  25. Jenny

    Wow, this is insane. My husband and I flew back from Vegas the day before this. I am so happy you’re okay! I can only imagine how terrifying this experience was for you.

    12 . Jun . 2017
  26. Shan

    Wow. Made me tear up! God has given you a second chance with a new perspective for sure. I pray that you’ll be sure to seek out -not religion -but a relationship with Him. That’s what it’s all about. So happy for you!

    12 . Jun . 2017
  27. San

    OMG, that must have been terrifying! I am so glad that you were able to make a safe emergency landing…. whenever I get on the plane, I am trying to tell myself that this is the SAFEST mode of transportation, but I always fly with a little bit of fear in the pit of my stomach.

    12 . Jun . 2017
  28. elly leavitt

    omg my heart literally sank when I read this title… so so so scary but I’m so glad you’re ok!! I can’t even begin to imagine what you must’ve been feeling during this. & you’re so right about priorities changing too (for all the seriousness of the post I lol’ed at the Kim K reference) xxxx

    12 . Jun . 2017
  29. Silvia

    Wow I couldn’t even imagine what I would have been thinking or feeling. You are brave and I’m so glad you got the chance to tell this story. I totally agree life is about the moments not the things you have. Sometimes we need a powerful reminder to wake us.

    14 . Jun . 2017
  30. Oksana

    Thank God you’re alright – words can’t even express how terrifying that must’ve been for you!

    15 . Jun . 2017
  31. Lindsay | Paperclips & Pacis

    Oh my goodness! Wow! I can’t believe you went through this but I’m so glad you survived to tell your story. I’ve flown hundreds of times also and I’ve always been a very happy traveler. But you really never know. p.s. I can’t believe I never heard about this happening.

    22 . Jun . 2017

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