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Shaken but not stirred – when things go bump in the night

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Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale and his wife endured a rough ride en route from California to Gatwick Airport.

Monsoon storms forced Don Hale’s flight from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to Phoenix, Arizona, to hold in the air for over half an hour as terrific thunder, lightning, strong winds and heavy rain buffetted the aircraft – and Phoenix – as they approached through the eye of the unexpected storm.

“It was like a bombing run with flak everywhere,” explained Don.

“Thethunder was deafening and the lightning seemed to bounce off the wings.

“We even had a running commentary from an excitable 10-year-old American boyfrom the seat in front – who dramatically recalled every near miss to histerrified mother some two rows away. Just like a typical American movie!

“The plane constantly dropped and rose many feet at a time whilst dippingeach wing in turn to a colourful crescendo of noise.

“Eventually we were allowed to land amidst one of the worst storms for agesin this desert location and bounced several times down the runway beforebeing told to hold and switch-off at a safe distance from the terminalbuilding. We were the last plane permitted to land before the storm reallyhit again.

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