Arizona State coach Todd Graham and son, running backs coach Bo Graham, had a recruiting trip this past weekend they won’t soon forget.
That’s because the original plane they were on never made it to its destination.
The two men were on a small plane with two pilots for a recruiting trip to Dallas when the plane rapidly started losing altitude. It went from 35,000 feet to 10,000 feet in a matter of minutes, sending all of the people aboard scrambling for oxygen masks.
“I woke up and the pilots were putting on their (oxygen) masks,” Todd Graham told AZcentral.com. “The plane started shaking.”
Added Bo Graham: “There were sirens going off. I saw the pilots put on their masks. It took a couple minutes for ours to come down. Actually, mine didn’t fall down so I had to go up front and get one.”
Bo: “I was kind of in denial. When you start off on the planes and they’re giving you the whole ‘When the mask falls down” speech, you never think it’s going to happen. But when it did happen, I was thinking, ‘Is this really going down? Right here?’ I mean, come on. In the desert of New Mexico? There are a lot better places to take a fall.”
Todd: “I’m not lying. I thought this might have been it. Bo looked like he was in shock.”
Bo: “The pilots weren’t saying anything. It was nerve-wracking, not to have any control over anything, not to know what was going on. It wasn’t good.”
The plane stabilized at 10,000 feet and made an emergency landing in Albuquerque. The coaches got on another plane a few hours later and did make it to their recruiting trip in Dallas thankful and with a heck of a story to tell.
“We’re very lucky,” Todd Graham said.
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