Shortly after takeoff, the pilot circled over the Great Salt Lake, tipping the wings ever so slightly so we could witness the unusual reddish-purple color of the water—a phenomenon, he explained, that occurs when a particular species of algae meets up with a certain bacteria. It was quite fascinating.
Just as he was bringing the plane level so we could be on our way, CRACK! A loud kind of popping noise sent a chill up my spine. “I believe we’ve hit something, so we will be returning to the gate,” an audibly shaken pilot reported.