A potential tragedy was avoided today after a Southwest Airlines flight was diverted due to a damaged engine. The plane landed safely with no reported injuries.
USA Today reports that the emergency landing was accomplished this morning with the captain of Flight 3472 making the decision to reroute the Orlando-bound flight. The flight, which departed from New Orleans, touched down in Pensacola. A mechanical problem with the aircraft’s engine necessitated the landing and pictures shared online from the incident appear to to confirm that the right call was made.
Passenger Rennard Meade was on the flight with his wife and daughters to go visit Disney World. Meade’s account of what happened sounds incredibly frightening.
Meade said, “I am not sure of the altitude, but we were almost at cruising and just heard a loud bang noise. At that point we did not know what it was.”
Immediately the aircraft took “a hard dip to the left,” Meade said.
“I looked forward and could see the nose start going down,” Meade said. “The plane was trembling and the oxygen masks deployed. The pilot came on the loudspeaker and said to prepare for an emergency landing.”
Meade told FOX10 News he credits the pilot for getting them down safely.
“He kept us safe,” he said. “Once we got on the ground, we realized we lost an engine up there.”
At present, Southwest is attempting to get the diverted passengers to their destination of Orlando.
(Via USA Today)