CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A flight made an unexpected landing in Buffalo at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport after departing earlier from the Chicago O’Hare airport.
The plane safely landed, but was forced down because a group of a dozen passengers reported feeling light-headed or nauseous. Although News 4 was told by Daniel J. Neaverth, Jr., Commissioner Department of Erie County Emergency Services, that no lights went off indicating a pressure drop in the cabin, the pilots performed a rapid decent to land quickly at the nearest airport, which was Buffalo.
The pilot quickly dropped the plane from 37,000 feet to 10,400 feet after the crew reported an unknown issue to the pilot. The pilot then leveled off to make a controlled descent. SkyWest says there was never any indication that there was an issue with the cabin door of the plane, despite earlier reports of a passenger losing consciousness. Those reports say the cabin quickly lost pressure due to a door opening. The FAA says an investigation is underway but officials say they can’t comment on those reports.
SkyWest Flight 5622 was carrying 84 people bound for Hartford Connecticut, but only one person was treated and released. A total of 12 people were evaluated by medical personnel. The plane touched down safely shortly before 12 p.m. SkyWest says it is attempting to find other accommodations for the passengers while the investigation is under way.
News 4 spoke to a passenger who was traveling from Los Angeles to Hartford, CT.
“Everyone knew something was going on,” Vanessa Bergmann told News 4. “No one was really sure at that point how intense the situation was. The scariest thing was the nose dive. It was very obvious we were decending as rapidly as we could at that point.”
She told News 4 that after landing the passengers were let off the plane and there were paramedics on the scene.