We were indeed in deep trouble. The Monsoon rains were horrendous, with heavy clouds and rain reaching far down to the ground. We couldn t land, leaving two very difficult alternatives; bail out now, hopefully in the vicinity of our China base (and not a lake), or fly west, over the Hump, in hopes of finding a safe place to land in the Assam Valley of India. We had enough fuel and hence made the fateful decision not to bail out and to chance a flight over the Himalayan Mountains once again. What we would face over the Hump was hard to predict, given the lack of communication and weather stations in that part of the world. Well, we found out very suddenly when the turbulence hit us. The aircraft was thrown about a lot, with updrafts and down drafts of thousands of feet. It was quite a challenge keeping the airplane under control. My seat and seatbelt alternatively felt the stresses with my stomach caught up in the middle.
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November 10, 2002
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