Come in, Flight 314

Graphic by Mrunal Pawar

“Local control? This is Flight 314 checking in from South Eastern Airways. Requesting permission for descent.” 

“Copy that.” 

Brian Cowell sighed to himself and leaned back in his seat. It had been a long day. “Ground control?”  he spoke into the radio . There’s a Flight 314 from South Eastern Airways requesting permission to descend.” 

The line on the other end was quiet. Then the voice spoke:

“I’m sorry, did you say Flight 314?” 

“Yes, is there a problem?” Brian asked quizzically. 

“There’s no record of a Flight 314 here. You said South Eastern Airways?” 

“Yeah, South Eastern Airways. No idea what’s going on.” 

Puzzled, Brian radioed the plane again. “This is local control requesting confirmation. You say you’re Flight 314 from South Eastern Airways?” 

The pilot gave his confirmation. “Is there… a problem?” 

“Sir, you must have the wrong number. We don’t have any scheduled flights for South Eastern Airways Flight 314.” 

The pilot chuckled rather nervously. “Impossible. Somebody must be mistaken.” 

Slightly annoyed that his time was being wasted, Brian radioed ground control. “I don’t know what to tell you, but there’s a Flight 314 here waiting for permission to land.” 

“And what I’m telling YOU is that there IS no Flight 314. Not from South Eastern Airways. The only flight with that number…” 

Brain heard rustling on the other end. “Yes. It says it here, the only flight with the number went down years ago.” 

“I-I’m sorry could you please repeat that?”

“Yeah, Flight 314 went down several years ago. Over the uh-” More rustling. “Sigsbee Plains.” 

“Sigsbee Plains?” Brian mused to himself. “Wasn’t that…” A chill ran down his spine. He quickly inspected the radar informing him of the plane’s location. His heart seemed as if it had stopped beating at that moment. His mind churned as his palms sweat heavily. Scratching his head, Brian racked his brain, wondering the best course of action. 

It was ridiculous, wasn’t it? There was no possibility that this plane could be-

His mind landed on a single thought. Swiftly, he whipped out his phone, plugging in words onto a search engine. 

Finally, he found what he was looking for. 

The news article informed him that there was indeed a Flight 314 from South Eastern Airways which went down only 3 years before, due to technical complications resulting in a faulty engine. The plane was flown by one Robert Anderson. 
“Uh… This is local control again.” He stammered awkwardly over the radio. “Is this Robert I’m speaking to?” 

“Yes, it is.” 

He took another breath. 

“There’s been an issue with ground control. They’re asking that you reroute your flight.”  

Reroute the flight?” 

“Yes, air traffic control says that there seems to be a storm heading down your direction. They want you to take the longer route. Down Campeche Bay.” 


Turning down the radio, he slumped down his seat. Has the crisis been averted? His answer came only minutes later. 

“Local control, there seems to be a problem.” 

He inched forward in his seat. “A problem? 

“Yeah, the storm seems to be heading up here as well.” 

“I- beg your pardon?” 

“It’s getting difficult to see. The clouds here are too grey to see through-” The sound coming from the radio was badly disordered and distorted. 

“Flight 314, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” 

More distortion. “…seems to be a thick fog…” 



“341? 314, Come in.” 

It was no use. The line went dead. He exhaled. 

Something caught his eye. His eye caught on the newspaper article. That was odd, he remarked to himself. It looked like there had been several changes to the article. Was he reading the article correctly? Instead of a faulty engine, the article seemed to be saying something about a storm. He glanced at the headline. 


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