An airline traveler stated he had problems breathing, and other folks felt ill, but the airline stated Thursday that an examination found no mechanical problems after the jet made an emergency landing in New York.
And while federal safety representatives had no justification for what happened on the aircraft on Wednesday, aviation specialists said the flight crew did the right thing by swiftly climbing down to 10,000 feet, an altitude with life-giving oxygen amounts.
SkyWest Flight 5622, performing as United Express and transporting 75 passengers, left O’Hare airport in Chicago on Wednesday morning and was destined for Bradley International Airport near Hartford. The Embraer E170 began a sharp, fast descent from its cruising altitude of 37,000 feet after the crew announced an emergency and landed in Buffalo late Wednesday morning.
A U.S. official stated the crew acted because of message of illness in the cabin but did not state to controllers any complications with the airliner.
“It’s a big mystery,” stated the official, who was acquainted with the event but wasn’t qualified to communicate publicly and gave a talk on the condition of anonymity.
Passenger Larry Johnson, of Danbury, stated it became hard to breathe partway through the trip, although oxygen masks never dropped.
“They told us there was a leak in something and the pressurization was cutting short,” he stated. “They said if you got lightheaded, that was normal, but that we were going to have to descend and make an emergency landing.”
He stated several passengers were provided oxygen.
“None of the air vents were working, and it was hard to breathe. You just felt that your chest was caving in, and then the plane descended so rapidly and that didn’t help,” Johnson explained. “Me and my girlfriend, we were watching each other. We were like, ‘We don’t feel good.’ Everything was so bright, and when you blinked, you would see dots.”
Examinations by airline technicians and local professionals show “absolutely nothing wrong with the aircraft,” SkyWest Inc. mouthpeice Marissa Snow stated.
She stated she had no evidence that air wasn’t coming from the vents in the cabin or that the air handling system in the cabin was defective.
For almost 8 minutes, the aircraft descended at a sharp angle, dropping as rapidly as 7,000fpm (feet per minute), the flight tracking service FlightAware explained.
The U.S. official explained pilots did not state a pressurization problem, oxygen masks did not release and pressure in the cabin was registered as comparable to 8,000 feet, which is standard. No smell was noted, and detectives have found no proof that any door was opened up.
There had been 3 pilots in the cockpit, the normal flight deck crew of 2 pilots in addition a SkyWest check airman, who executes periodic assessments of pilots’ flying abilities.
The U.S. official and the airline, which is centered in St. George, Utah, stated 14 passengers and 1 flight attendant described symptoms, were examined after landing and needed no additional treatment. The airline explained 3 people lost awareness, but the official mentioned that was not the case.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) on Wednesday stated preliminary details pointed out the jet may have had a pressurization issue, but that turned out to be wrong.
“Pressurization would have to be the No. 1 suspect,” said William Waldock, a safety science professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, “unless there was some sort of toxic gas or something else that nobody could smell or see.”