A Delta 767-300 diverted to Tampa after rapidly descending 29,000 feet in just seven minutes.
Delta Flight 2353 was headed from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday when a cabin pressure irregularity occurred midway through the flight.
While flight attendants attempted to calm passengers, pandemonium broke out onboard, with many genuinely fearing their aircraft would crash.
Harris DeWoskin, a passenger onboard, described the incident to WTFS, an ABC affiliate in Tampa Bay:
Out of nowhere, I felt what felt like a sort of a rapid descent. We started dropping in altitude and then air masks the oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane, chaos sort of ensued amongst the passengers. Initially, it was sort of a panic there wasn’t really any forewarning. The oxygen masks dropped down then one of the flight attendants, I believe, grabbed the intercom and was just repeatedly over the intercom stating ‘do not panic, do not panic,’ but, obviously, it’s a hectic moment. So, the passengers around me a lot of people were kind of hyperventilating breathing really hard…
I immediately reached out to my girlfriend, my family and let them know some scary stuff is going on right now on the plane. The oxygen masks dropped, let them know I loved them. In hindsight, we turned out alright. Just my intuition, reach out to my family and to the people I know what’s going on I love them. Life is fragile. There was a scary 60 to 90 seconds where we really didn’t know what was going on.
Life is indeed fragile.
A Delta spokesperson confirmed there were no injuries:
We apologize to our customers on flight 2353 from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale, which diverted to Tampa out of an abundance of caution and landed without incident following a cabin pressurization irregularity en route.
Here’s some video from the incident:
I can think of few more unpleasant things than sitting on an aircraft that is rapidly descending without clarity over why. Thankfully, the rapid descent was out of an abundance of caution by a skillful pilot and no passengers were injured.
Have you ever encountered such a rapid drop in altitude on an airplane?
image: @BrutusOsceloa / Twitter