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Pilot outburst results in wild plane ride

By Gene Kosowan     Nov 15, 2013 in Travel
Raleigh - Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight en route from Miami to Raleigh, NC received the shock of their lives when the pilot blurted out “We’re in trouble, we’re going down.”
"At first it sounded like someone was coming over the PA to talk,” said passenger Grace Stroud to CNN. “Then it sounded like shots through the cabin, twice, back to back," passenger Grace Stroud told CNN. "Seconds later, the panicked captain said, 'We're in trouble; we're going down.'"
The plane was minutes away from landing at Raleigh Durham International Airport when the mishap occurred. While trying to adjust cabin pressure on the Boeing 737, a routine procedure during descent, the pilot noticed an irregularity in the readings. As he was briefing attendants on contingencies, the pilot apparently triggered the public address system, inadvertently alerting passengers. Seconds later, the Boeing 737 plummeted several thousand feet.
“He said, ‘We’re going down,’” said passenger Shelley Wills to ABC 11. “And everyone is looking around like, is this a joke? Is he serious? And then you felt the nosedive.”
The plain quickly leveled off and made an emergency landing at Raleigh. Although all passengers were reported to be safe, the FAA is investigating the incident.
In a release issued to passengers, who will be compensated with flight vouchers after the harrowing experience, Southwest Airlines blamed the situation on faulty air intake components which have since been replaced. The release also stated the pilot was following normal procedures.
“We regret for any uneasy feelings you may have felt before your plane landed and we want you to have better air travel memories with us,” said Adrienne Yurdyga, from the airline’s proactive customer communications department in the release. “You can be sure we are looking forward to welcoming you back again soon.”
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