I know this is late but I just read this one from the ATP site and thought I should post this here:
Sela Safe But Shaken After Emergency Landing
Dudi Sela typically gets a little bit nervous before every flight, but as a professional tennis player, he’s learned to cope with that feeling. Last week, however, a flight he was on had an engine go out, and needed to make an emergency landing, which gave the Israeli No. 1 quite a fright.
Sela was flying home from Tokyo late Thursday for a couple days before coming to Moscow. From Tokyo he went to Beijing, where he boarded an El Al 767 for the flight to Tel Aviv.
Seated over the wing, Sela noticed on take off a strange noise from the engine just outside his window. After 10 minutes, he called for a flight attendant and asked about the noise.
A few moments later, the pilot made an announcement that indeed there was some trouble with one of the engines, but they were fine to continue.
For three hours the strange noises stopped and started from the engine. Then suddenly there was much louder noise from the engine, and Sela says the whole plane seemed to jerk back.
Twenty seconds later, the same noise and jerking sensation happened again.
“I was very nervous,” Sela said Sunday in Moscow. “I thought it was not going to finish good.”
Quickly the pilot announced that the left engine had gone out, and as a precaution, the aircraft was going to make a rather hasty landing at a small airport near the China-Kazakhstan border.
It was only about 15 minutes later that the plane was on the ground, much to the relief of Sela and the more than 150 passengers on the flight.
Sela said they were lucky to be so close to an airport to land at, but even for that short time until landing, it was a tense ride. “There were some people getting stressed and in shock,” he said. “Most of the people were very calm. Everyone was very quiet.”
All the passengers spent the night in a hotel while another plane was brought in to take them to Tel Aviv.
With a different aircraft, the passengers flew to Tel Aviv on Friday. For Sela, there wasn’t any real fear getting back on a flight. “It was a new plane,” he explained. “I’ve flown a lot before. I knew the chances of that happening again were very small.”
The mishap cost Sela some time at home, and also didn’t give him much time to shake off the experience. On Saturday he boarded an Aeroflot plane to head nonstop to Moscow. This was a much smaller plane, and Sela admitted “I was very scared.”
Sela will leave the flying behind as he plays Victor Hanescu in the opening round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
I'm a newly converted fan of Sela. First time I saw him play on tv was when he played against Robredo and Roddick in China Open.