Flyers text kin as plane plunges 30,000 ft in 7 min
Passengers onboard a Delta Air Lines flight were left fearing for their lives after the plane plunged almost 30,000ft in just seven minutes. Flight 2353 was travelling from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale in Florida when the incident occurred, prompting passengers to text loved ones in preparation. “God Bless the Captain and crew,” tweeted one flyer. “I texted my wife and dad I loved them. Told my mom I love her and hugged my son.” He posted pictures of the plane cabin, in which oxygen masks can be seen hanging from the ceiling.
Witnesses told WSB-TV that travellers were told repeatedly “do not panic” by a flight attendant over the tannoy. Passenger Harris Dewoskin said, “there was a scary 60 to 90 seconds where we really didn’t know what was going on”.
Flight tracking website Flight Aware shows the moment the aircraft dropped through the air, in what Delta described as a “controlled descent”. At around 38 minutes in, the plane’s altitude fell from 38,000ft to 10,000ft within the space of seven minutes. The flight then diverted to Tampa where flyers deplaned as normal. A Delta Air Lines spokesperson said: “(The flight was) diverted out of an abundance of caution and landed without incident following a cabin pressurisation irregularity en route.” The aircraft is being evaluated by maintenance technicians.