It sounded like sheer horror at 30,000 feet for the passengers aboard a United Airlines flight after the emergency slide deployed, filling up part of the plane’s cabin. Passengers heard a “pop” followed by “hissing” and that was a sound nobody wants to hear midflight, suggests Komo News on June 30.
The emergency slide filled up a good part of the cabin, giving many a claustrophobic feeling. Along with the slide’s sudden inflation, the plane lost cabin pressure. This caused the pilot to make an emergency landing. The plane’s slide would normally inflate outside the plane when there is an emergency, according to the Desert News today.
The planes galley was filled with the inflated slide, you couldn’t get past the area. The slide inflated and had the restroom doors pinned closed. If someone happened to be in there at that time, they wouldn’t have gotten out for “a long time,” said Mike Schroeder, a passenger on the flight via a phone interview.
The emergency slide inflates with so much air pressure that if any of the flight attendants were in the galley at the time, they would have been hurt said Schroeder. He talked with the media on his cell phone as he got ready to board a bus with the rest of the passengers after their emergency landing.
The plane also lost cabin pressure so the pilot took the plane down in altitude, in what passengers describe as a “steep decline.” The pilot announced that they would be making an emergency landing at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Aiport.
The lights in the left side of the passenger cabin went out and the movie stopped playing when the slide inflated. The Boeing 737-700 got its lights back after just a few minutes. The plane departed from Chicago and was headed to Southern California, but the oversized inflatable caused the emergency landing in Kansas.
One of the most surprising things about this ordeal was how calm the passengers remained. Many took out their cell phones and started snapping pictures of the slide taking up the back half of the plane. Schroeder said the pilot came on the passenger cabin speaker saying “Oh golly, I’ve never seen that before,” as soon as the plane landed safely.
United Airlines released a statement today saying no one on board Flight 1463 was injured.