Panic in the sky! Passengers on Delta flight had the fright of their lives as the plane plunged nearly 30,000 feet for emergency landing. Flight 2353 that took off from Atlanta and was scheduled to land in Fort Lauderdale was diverted to Tampa following a cabin pressurization irregularity en route. It landed in Florida after dropping some 29,000 feet in eight-plus minutes. Delta called it a “controlled descent.”
Delta’s Emergency Landing ‘Controlled Descent’
Delta Flight 2353, which took off from Atlanta was forced to land at Tampa International Airport after a mechanical issue in the cabin area forced oxygen masks to deploy. The plane descended rapidly to make an emergency landing. And, while it dropped some 29,000 feet for about nine minutes, oxygen masks came down and chaos prevailed in the cabin. Even though the oxygen masks were deployed, the panic-struck passengers were kind of hyperventilating and breathing really hard. Without any forewarning, they had the biggest fright of their lives.
The plane landed safely in Tampa. No injuries were reported. Some passengers were loaded on to buses and driven to Fort Lauderdale while others were booked on alternate flights to their destinations. The aircraft was being examined by maintenance crews. According to Delta Airlines, the aircraft had experienced a problem with its cabin pressure, forcing the pilots to rapidly descend to a safer altitude.
Why are aircraft cabins pressurized?
If you’re a frequent flier, you might have heard a dozen times: “Should the cabin experience sudden pressure loss, oxygen masks will drop down from above your seat. Place the mask over your mouth and nose.” The pre-flight safety announcement might sound monotonous but they come into play in case of irregularity in cabin pressurization. Aircraft cabins are pressurized using cooled and filtered air bled from the engines to keep the air pressure inside the cabin at the equivalent of an altitude of 8,000 feet. Thanks to Boeing’s Dreamliner technology; cabin pressure has been lowered to that of 6,000 feet altitude, making the cabin atmosphere more pleasant even though commercial aircraft often fly at 40,000 feet. Though the dry cabin air might cause passengers to become a little dehydrated, but happily they are able to breathe unassisted, and continue watching the in-flight film, quaffing a tomato juice, or browsing the duty-free catalog.