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'I thought we were going to crash'

TT/The Local/dl · 3 Jan 2011, 15:46

Published: 03 Jan 2011 15:46 GMT+01:00

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“I thought we were going to crash,” passenger David Persson told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper.

Passengers on the flight, operated by Gothenburg-based City Airlines, were flying toward Umeå in northern Sweden at an altitude of 11,000 metres when the plane experienced a sudden loss of cabin pressure.

Pilots reacted quickly, putting the plane into a dive which brought it down to an altitude of 3,000 metres in 2.5 minutes.

“We notices the oxygen masks were deployed and then we fell straight down,” Persson told the newspaper.

The steep dive caused panic among the plane’s 14 passengers, some of whom suffered from ruptured eardrums and bloody noses.

“It was incredibly unpleasant. My friend sat beside me and just cried,” passenger Anna-Maria Roubert told Sveriges Television (SVT).

While the exact cause of the loss of pressure remains under investigation, a spokesperson for City Airlines told the TT news agency that a likely explanation may have been an error in pressure regulation equipment aboard the Embraer 145 jet.

The plane, which can carry up to 49 passengers and had a crew of four on board at the time of the incident, landed safely at Umeå’s airport, where it was met by emergency crews.

Story continues below…

“I’m never going to fly again,” passenger Matilda Bertilsson told the Expressen newspaper.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:08 January 3, 2011 by karex
Happened to me once flying from US to Brazil, only it wasn't loss of cabin pressure but the plane hit a wind pocket - or more precisely, a pocket of no air whatsoever, so it dropped thousands of meters in seconds causing panic on board. That's why they tell us to keep our seatbelts on at all times: anyone not strapped down would slam against the ceiling and possibly break his/her neck. Such casualties although somewhat rare, have happened before.
16:14 January 3, 2011 by GLO
Right on, keep your belt on the entire trip.
16:45 January 3, 2011 by Mxzf

"Pilots follow a standard procedure if the cabin pressure suddenly drops while at cruising altitude. They don the oxygen masks which are constantly at their shoulder and put the aircraft into an emergency descent to about 8,000ft above sea-level, the altitude at which the air becomes comfortably breathable. "

It would be nice if they told this in the safety videos/theatre they play.

(You would probably not hit your head on anything if you fall freely; there wouldn't be any force to move you upwards.)
16:55 January 3, 2011 by teejees
This was only turbulance but probably would have the same effect as loss of cabin pressure not sure if they are one and the same but have a look at this article.http://www.news.com.au/woman-paralysed-as-turbulence-hits-plane/story-0-1225701630358
17:38 January 3, 2011 by Julie Hedberg
Even if they did ex-plane it people do not pay attention to whats being said, then when something does happen they wonder why they are so unprepared for things.
18:06 January 3, 2011 by mojofat
Kudos to these pilots for acting quickly and safely.
20:56 January 3, 2011 by Kevin Harris
Very scary and painful for the passengers; but it sounds like the pilot was in control of the aircraft during the entire incident, while he dived to get into breathable air.

I expect he had rather too much too do, other than to reassure the passengers during the dive.

It is best to keep your seat belt on during the flight, there are several reasons why. This kind of incident is only one of them.
21:06 January 3, 2011 by Beavis
@karex its not the same as hitting an air pocket, that feels like a roller coaster (not nice either!) the only way to describe it is the roller coaster feeling plus the "crash" noise wher you visibly see the front of the plane dip and your dead right you will always have your seatbelt fastened after experiencing it! I also was on a plane that hit the terminal building once in CPH teaches you to not stand up when landed until the seatbelt sign goes off, anyone who got up early was thrown on the floor!
11:21 January 4, 2011 by zooeden
wow, thousands of meters aint no joke!!!
13:28 January 4, 2011 by DamnImmigrant
Yes! keep your belt on the entire trip!

Mxzf is correct that "It would be nice if they told this in the safety videos..."

"When the oxygen masks deploy, the pilot will put the aircraft into a VERY STEEP CONTROLLED DIVE" Remember not to panic and enjoy the ride like you would on a super roller coaster."

"If the masks DO deploy and the pilot does NOT descend rapidly - THEN START TO PANIC!!!!"

@Mxzf - "You would probably not hit your head on anything if you fall freely; there wouldn't be any force to move you upwards."

This is incorrect because an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force. Also note that the plane is NOT ZERO G it is NEGATIVE G's so forget gravity.

When the plane dives - your body's at rest mass, which is not attached to the plane by the belt, continues to move in its own attitudinal space independent of the plane's new motion. Inertia has your body seated in the airplane but without the seat belt your mass is INDEPENDENT of the aircraft. The plane dives but your attitudinal inertia has you sitting (at rest at the plane's previous altitude). Your body stays in its seated attitudinal position while your seat falls away from you. Then your STILL at rest mass which is moving independently of the aircraft collides with the ceiling as the plane moves down to smack your silly ass - I mean head.

You are NOT moved upwards, inertia holds your attitudinal position while the plane rushes down to collide with you. If you are lucky you have a headache, really unlucky - DEAD.

Darwin Awards anyone?
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