Expert says SkyWest crew acted appropiately

Pilot makes quick descent

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A well-known aviation analyst said that the crew of SkyWest Flight 5622 did the “prudent thing” diverting to the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport Wednesday after a passenger became ill.

“The crew immediately descended and looked for the closest airport which is standard procedure,” said Jim Hall, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

The aircraft, which was en route from Chicago to Hartford, Connecticut, made the emergency landing in Buffalo after a passenger lost consciousness.

The passenger was examined and released by medics on the ground in Buffalo.

Bob Miller, a local general aviation flight instructor, said if there’s any question about the health of a passenger the flight crew will do all it can, even if it means diverting to the nearest airport.

“In a case like this where the patient is totally unconscious for some reason, and the medical personnel suggest it, they’ll divert and land at the nearest suitable airport,” Miller said.

The pilot made a quick descent, dropping the plane from 37,000 feet to 10,400.

“It would feel like a roller coaster when you’re coming over the top and you’re going down,” said CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo. “All in all given the severity of the situation it’s fortunate that they got the plane on the ground in one piece, and that everybody apparently is going to be fine.”

The airline said it would make accommodations for passengers originally traveling to Hartford. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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