Several Passengers Injured on JetBlue Flight
Twenty two passengers and two crew members on a JetBlue flight traveling from Boston to Sacramento were hospitalized after their plane hit severe turbulence.
The Airbus 320 aircraft was forced to land in Rapid City, South Dakota as a result of the disturbance.
Passenger Rhonda Lynam told ABC News that she feared for her life and wasn’t sure what was going to occur next.
“People were floating. All of a sudden, it was as if you’re on an elevator, 50 stories high, and it goes out of control. Then you hit the bottom,” she said.
All injured passengers were released from the hospital. They completed their trip on Friday morning — more than seven hours after their scheduled arrival.
National Transportation Safety Board Spokesman Keith Holloway says the agency is currently investigating the incident and has made a special request that flight recorders be sent to its headquarters.
John M. Cox, CEO of the Safety Operating Systems consulting firm, says when planes hit extreme turbulence, they often drop 40-5o feet. It may feel like 60-70 feet because it happens so quickly and our bodies aren’t used to the force.
He added that the very best thing passengers could do is to keep their seat belts fastened low, across hips and secure during flight.
“The flight diverted to Rapid City, South Dakota, and arrived safely at the gate at approximately 7:30 p.m. local time,” a JetBlue spokesperson said in a statement. “JetBlue care team member are being sent to assist injured customers, and a replacement aircraft is en route to Rapid City for customers continuing on to Sacramento.”