I was on my way to Atlanta for the Dragon*Con. My flight took off from San Jose airport on time (5:45 pm). But we had to turn around almost immediately and land.
There was a strange odor in the cabin while the plane was climbing altitude. I actually smelled it at the onset and wondered what it was. I'm always scared of every little things during flight so I'm super sensitive to the things around me on the airplane. Anyway, not soon after I smelled the odor, the Captain announced we were turning back. The flight back was pretty frightening for me (okay I admit I'm a chicken.) The plane banked left and right very sharply and it came down FAST (like it was doing a dive)!
After we landed, the mechanics came to check the plane/engine. Wouldn't you know it--the engine took out some birds during takeoff! Actually the Captain kinda suspected it because he said he saw some birds on the runway just before the takeoff! Come to think of it, when I first smelled the odor, my reaction was: God, what was that?! Then I thought it kinda smelled like burnt barbecue.
Anyway, I'm back at San Jose airport. The damage to the engine was extensive enough that we had to switch to a different plane. We are just waiting for the next plane to come in (it's scheduled to come in around 7:30 pm.) Good thing I'm catching a "red eye" flight and have an overnight layover in Dallas Fort Worth!