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Plane Plunges 30K Feet in Minutes, Then Lands Safely

Passengers praise Delta flight crew
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2019 6:02 PM CDT
Updated Sep 20, 2019 1:00 AM CDT
Delta Air Lines jets are parked at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – A Delta Air Lines flight landed safely Wednesday after plunging almost 30,000 feet in less than 8 minutes while over the west coast of Florida. The plane had taken off from Atlanta and was on its way to Fort Lauderdale when the Boeing 767-300 went into what a spokesman called a "rapid, controlled descent," USA Today reports. No one was injured. Flight attendants told passengers to stay calm, but then, one told NBC: "Out of nowhere, I had four oxygen masks drop down into my lap. Of course it was sort of an instant panic." The flight was diverted to Tampa and passengers were then bused to Fort Lauderdale.

The aforementioned passenger said the pilot announced the plane would have to descend to a lower altitude because of cabin pressure, but the oxygen masks dropped before the plane reached the new altitude. Delta said that the problem could have been cabin pressure, and that it is investigating, as is the FAA. One passenger tweeted that he had texted family members that he loved them. When the scare was over, the passengers praised the pilot and flight attendants. The crew was "awesome at keeping people calm," another passenger tweeted. (Read more airplane mishap stories.)

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