Evacuation Slide Deploys Mid-Flight, Inside Plane

Passengers take pictures, of course
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 30, 2014 9:17 AM CDT
A United Airlines Boeing 737 lands at San Francisco International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/George Nikitin)

(Newser) – An evacuation slide inflated inside a United Airlines plane as it flew from Chicago to California, filling part of the cabin and forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Kansas, the airline and passengers said. Mike Schroeder said he was flying to Orange County, Calif., last night when he heard a hiss and pop. Schroeder said he turned around and saw the plane's evacuation slide—which would normally go outside the plane during an emergency—inflating inside the cabin. Passengers remained calm, and predictably took pictures of the inflated slide with their phones, he says.

"When the pilot came out right after landing he said, 'Oh golly, I've never seen that before,'" Schroeder adds. Christen David, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based airline, said the slide "accidentally deployed" and that all 96 passengers were seated when the slide inflated inside the Boeing 737-700. The airline provided passengers hotel rooms and planned a flight this morning from Wichita to California. No one aboard Flight 1463 was injured. Both United and the FAA are investigating the incident. (Read more airplane stories.)

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