Posted November 19, 2013

Browns guard says team is ‘lucky to be alive’ following ‘terrifying’ plane ride Sunday

AFC North, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns
Jason Pinkston (right) said the team 'escaped one' during their flight from Cincinnati to Cleveland.

Jason Pinkston (right) said the team ‘escaped one’ during their flight from Cincinnati to Cleveland. (John Grieshop/Getty Images)

The weather wreaked havoc on the field last Sunday, and it apparently made travel quite hazardous as well.

Cleveland Browns guard Jason Pinkston said the team is “lucky to be alive” following a “terrifying” plane ride from Cincinnati to Cleveland after the Browns’ 41-20 loss to the Bengals.

As result of heavy rain and 50 mph winds, the Browns made plans to bus home after the game against the Bengals. But they boarded a plane when it was determined that it was safe to make the 45-minute trip home.

“It was terrifying,” Pinkston said of the flight to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “It was the real thing. The weather was so bad. We were coming in to land and [the pilot] had to go kind of fast to balance it out and we came down and we hit on two wheels. The [left] wing was literally three feet from hitting the ground.

“We’re actually pretty lucky to be alive right now, to be honest. We really escaped one. We got away with one last night.”

Pinkston says he wasn’t the only one scared by the turbulent flight.

“There were a bunch of screams,” said Pinkston. “You could hear everyone screaming on the plane. It was pretty real. I screamed, because I was sitting right over [left] wing. My window was open and I saw the whole thing.”

Defensive lineman Billy Winn was as scared as Pinkston.

“Billy was shaking like a little girl,” kidded Paul Kruger.

Explained Winn: “Holy cow — I swear the wing was a couple feet from the ground. At the last second it was dead quiet right before the landing. We’re going to land and it got real quiet and I heard this big gust of wind and it went like that [a tilting motion with his hand] and came back and we recovered. We had a great pilot. A fantastic pilot. Bless his heart for getting here safely.”

Gilbert said there were some “whoas” and some sighs of reliefs, but doesn’t recall anyone screaming. He confirmed that the plane was off-center when it landed, but said he’s experienced worse.

Pinkston, who is no stranger to life-threatening situations after he was hospitalized with a blood clot last season, hates flying, per Cabot, and will likely hate it even more now.

35 comments
bhayes420
bhayes420

Sounds like the pilots knew exactly what they were doing under the weather conditions they were facing.  Yes, it can be a wild ride, but to scream and act like little girls?  I thought these were tough, NFL players.  Wait...they are the Browns.  That explains the little girl screams.  

UnishowponyWherebeef
UnishowponyWherebeef

“We’re actually pretty lucky to be alive right now, to be honest. "

Yeah, of course you are. You make almost a half million dollars in 2012 doing nothing but being on injured reserve. I'd call that pretty damn lucky!

RandyHayes
RandyHayes

seems to me it would have made much more since to stay in Cincy for awhile longer until the storm passed.

EZFBallRankings
EZFBallRankings

When I flew through tornado watch/warning airspace on business through Texas years ago, I placed my right hand on my left shoulder, and my left hand on my right shoulder and repeatedly tapped my shoulder blades and occasionally shut my eyes.  That had the effect of easing my fear.

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

You have no idea what you're talking about, young man. Terrified you may have been, but you were quite safe all along.

Tommmmmm
Tommmmmm

I landed in Cleveland Sunday under the same conditions. After doing it hundreds of times, no need to be scared. They wouldn't land the plane if it was not safe. They have to come in faster because of the wind and put it down a little harder. This happens all the time and it is exactly what they trained to do.

bamakurt
bamakurt

“There were a bunch of screams” ... That was us Browns fans watching the regular horrendous effort against the Bengals. 

WilliamHarvey
WilliamHarvey

No doubt Pinkston is a accomplished athlete. However, his travel experience appears relatively limited as this happens all the time and pilots are well trained in landing is these types of conditions.  When was the last time you heard of a plane crashing because of wind? SI, you should know better.


DaM
DaM

It is somewhere around 220 miles between the two cities. Was a flight truly necessary?  Maybe if you were leaving, say San Diego, Miami or New York OK, but one Ohio city to another....Wasteful spending and just another reason ticket prices are so high

TysonGarrett
TysonGarrett

Is it really far enough from Cincinnati to Cleveland to justify a plane ride? What a waste.


T5
T5

Who's Gilbert?

Darren1
Darren1

Maybe John Madden was on to something!

Beth3
Beth3

The pilot crabbed to land. All pilots are trained to do that. It seems more dangerous than it is. I've been aboard a burning plane, but my scariest flight was aboard a plane that was eventually grounded because it couldn't shed ice and a couple crashed. When we landed, after struggling to remain aloft for over a hundred miles, not a single person moved. We all sat in the dark and contemplated what had just happened.

EnashWaca
EnashWaca

Should have just bussed it anyways

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

What does this have to do with Incognito and Martin? 


sonnymosley1
sonnymosley1

You were already DAID..thanx to da BENGALS!!!!!!

beolein
beolein

Hey, SI.com, that's a one-sided story. Shame on you. I would think if it was truly life threatening, the pilot would not have landed.

EZFBallRankings
EZFBallRankings

@bamakurt Not everyone enjoys rollercoasters.


I'm sure thoughts of the Marshall team came to mind.

MichaelCoriell
MichaelCoriell

@WilliamHarvey Between 1964 and 1985, wind shear/ Micro burst directly caused or contributed to 26 major civil transport aircraft accidents in the U.S. that led to 620 deaths and 200 injuries. Since 1995, the number of major civil aircraft accidents caused by wind shear has dropped to approximately one every ten years.

randomfan
randomfan

@DaM The Browns have the lowest prices in the league.  Try again.

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

@TysonGarrett After their abysmal performance they were quite anxious to get out of town. Teams' flights are comped by airlines in exchange for the advertising, by the way.

Rudolph
Rudolph

@beolein right on beolein because pilots never make mistakes and plans never crash.

TysonGarrett
TysonGarrett

So it's, what, a 3.5 hour drive... I'll bet it takes at least 2 hours to load the equipment, get the team on buses, drive to the airport, go through security, load the plane, taxi etc, then about a half hour flight, land, deplane, unload, get on the bus, drive to wherever the players keep their cars.... probably takes almost the same amount of time. 

JulianTStanley
JulianTStanley

@Rudolph @beolein Think about how many flights there are per day, per month, and per year. Now think about how many crash per day, per month, per year. Planes rarely ever crash, fyi.

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

They crash all the time. You just don't hear about every single incident.