YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Jet makes emergency landing after loss of cabin pressure

The Southwest Airlines flight carrying 118 passengers lands in Yuma, Ariz., after a 'rapid, controlled descent.' The crew finds a hole in the top of the fuselage, authorities say.

April 02, 2011|By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
  • A cellphone image of the hole in the cabin of a Southwest flight from Phoenix to Sacramento. Flight 812 was diverted to Yuma, Ariz., Friday where it landed safely.
A cellphone image of the hole in the cabin of a Southwest flight from Phoenix… (Joshua Hardwicke via Associated…)

A Southwest Airlines flight with 118 passengers made an emergency landing Friday in Yuma, Ariz., after a rapid loss of cabin pressure, and the crew found a hole in the top of the fuselage, according to the airline and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Photos: Hole opens up in plane during flight

A flight attendant was slightly injured during the steep descent, but no passengers were hurt on Flight 812 from Phoenix to Sacramento, the airline said. The Boeing 737 landed safely at 4:07 p.m. at Yuma International Airport, according to the FAA.

The pilot "made a rapid, controlled descent" from 36,000 feet to 11,000 feet after the loss of cabin pressure. The cause of the decompression was unknown, said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

On her Twitter feed, Shawna Malvini Redden, who identified herself as a passenger on the plane, posted photos of passengers wearing oxygen masks dangling from the cabin ceiling.

"Loss of cabin pressure, hands down the scariest experience of my life," she wrote.

Firetrucks from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Yuma greeted the flight, but no rescue was necessary, said Gen Grosse, corporate account manager for the Yuma County Airport Authority.

Upon landing, "the flight crew discovered a hole in the top of the aircraft," Southwest said in a news release.

"You can see daylight through it," passenger Brenda Reese told KCRA, a Sacramento television station.

Reese also said that a few passengers passed out when they had trouble getting oxygen from their masks.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident, Gregor said.

Los Angeles Times Articles