'Hell' on JetBlue Flight Over Vegas
Hydraulic system fails on Airbus A320, plane circles for hours
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2012 8:48 AM CDT
A JetBlue Airbus A320 aircraft is shown.   (PRNewsFoto/JetBlue Airways, Mark Greenberg)

(Newser) – Be glad that you were not on Sunday's JetBlue flight from Las Vegas to New York, which one passenger describes as "four hours of hell." The plane's hydraulic system failed, causing it to careen from side to side and go into dizzying turns, and the passengers' descriptions of the flight may cause you never to board a plane again: "People were getting sick. Some people were throwing up. There were a lot of people getting nauseous," one passenger tells the New York Post.

The passengers knew something was wrong immediately after takeoff, when "you could hear a screeching—an obvious mechanical screeching," the passenger adds. The pilots declared an emergency and informed Las Vegas controllers. But here's the to-make-matters-worse detail: The Airbus A320 can't dump excess fuel. In order to safely land, it had to burn off the bulk of its stash—by circling the area. None of the 155 passengers screamed, but "there were definitely people reacting out loud," says another passenger. "The plane kind of felt out of control."