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Squawks & HeadlinesRDU-bound Southwest Airlines 737 makes emergency descent

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RDU-bound Southwest Airlines 737 makes emergency descent

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Passengers told ABC11 the pilot yelled "We're going down" before the plane took a nosedive (news.yahoo.com) More...

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dtw757
mike SUT 12
the rest of the Pa was probably "to a lower altitude as a precaution until we get the matter resolved".

I was jump seating on a 757 where we lost an engine and diverted into Sioux Falls. To read the "harrowing" tail the next morning in the papers regarding the violent shaking, rolling, the lights going out (apu came up on line) passengers "shaken to the core" made me wonder if I had been on a different flight.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 6
" we're going down" probably isn't the right thing to yell over ICS. Lol
joelwiley
joel wiley 4
Chalk up another one for "Open Mike Night"
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
We're going down Larry, we're going down!!!
FedExCargoPilot
FedExCargoPilot 2
Where's the professionalism? How about, we have a depressurization warning and we are going to make a steep descent to a lower altitude.
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 2
SWA3426 flight track. Early descent to 10k feet visible on the flight profile graph at the bottom. -- http://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA3426/history/20131112/2130Z/KTPA/KRDU
uniclone
uniclone 2
Had something similar happen years ago. Started descending quickly and the pilot hit the wrong switch and we heard him talking to the ATC with his oxygen mask on. That's a little concerning. The FA's quickly picked up breakfast and I asked if I needed to know anything (in an exit row).

Got down to 10,000 feet the pilot came on and said a warning light that the cabin MAY depressurized came on. It never depressurized but that didn't stop many people from telling the TV crews on the ground that it did. LOL

So I can certainly relate people not remembering the whole event when it was a little stressful. A guy next to me was writing messages to family.

The whole event was a little unnerving but it was never a disaster.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 3
Absolutely! Or at the very least, a brief explanation once the situation had resolved. It likely would have served to calm a lot of ruffled feathers. I'd venture a guess that crew remained invisible upon landing.
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 2
Yes well...don't know the specifics of YOUR experience, but the gist is that sometimes the ill-informed can react badly, and slightly over-the-top.

It is ignorance (not a pejorative term, just a fact) of aviation.

As to the "...warning light that the cabin MAY depressurized came on." portion of your post? On most airliners, not only a light but an audible warning is associated. However, this is known only on the Flight Deck.

Per FAA (and other aviation Authority regulations) above 10,000 feet MSL cabin altitude both pilots must wear supplemental oxygen ('O2'). Typically on modern airliners the O2 masks in the PSUs in the cabin will not "trigger" unless the Cabin Altitude exceeds roughly 14,000 feet MSL.

In this recent case (SouthWest Airlines Flt 3426) the cabin O2 masks did not deploy? This tells me that it was a cockpit indication, and likely that appropriate Flight deck Crew response was initiated.

What sets this "non-incident" apart is: The PA from the cockpit, and the misunderstanding made by those NON-PILOTS who heard it, and misinterpreted.

Done.

[This poster has been suspended.]

AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
Matter of fact, it hasn't crashed at all. (Psst...it isn't a "they" it's an "it". It's a company.)
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
You're gonna hear it now. Be ready to define crash. Lol
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
HA ... I knew it the instant after I pressed "send" ... you know how as you're moving to press that key, but there's no way you can stop your hand in time? I'ma gonna just ignore it cuz, after all, everyone really knows what I'm sayin'.
USAFcptnShades
USAFcptnShades 1
Here come the lawsuits...
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Southwest Airlines pilot apparently tells passengers 'We're going down'

Southwest Airlines Flight 3426 had taken off from Tampa, Florida, and was headed to Raleigh. As it approached its destination, the pilot noticed a loss of cabin pressure -- prompting him to make a earlier-than-usual descent. "The issue resolved itself, which is also not uncommon, and the aircraft landed normally at Raleigh-Durham."


http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/14/travel/southwest-flight-scare/index.html
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Southwest pilot to passengers: "We're going down"

CNN reports SW claims the pilot inadvertently activated the pa system. Egads!

http://news.yahoo.com/pilot-to-passengers-were-going-down-134256924.html
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 1
A much more comprehensive (meaning "better") article:

http://myfox8.com/2013/11/13/plane-bound-for-rdu-takes-nosedive-terrifies-passengers/

Clearly the CA (or FO) was probably using the O2 mask microphone (since it was a pressurization issue, depends on whether the CAB Altitude had exceed 10,000 feet), and pushed the "PA" selector button on the Audio Panel. This was to inform the Cabin crew. Alternatively one of them could have used the Interphone, again with the O2 mask mic, by selecting the "INT" (or "FLT", or "CAB", depends on specific design) mic selector switch. But they must ring the call button, and wait for an FA to then pick up a handset.

This over-reaction by laypeople who are accustomed to Hollywood's version of "flying", and have no aviation knowledge nor experience.

Image of a typical Boeing Audio Select Panel:

http://www.b737.org.uk/images/aspbuttons.jpg
mwilliams78
mwilliams78 1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Southwest Captain tells passengers

Captain nosedives plane to FL250 in order to resolve pressurization alert.... but the passengers just heard the announcement and felt the nosedive. Must have been quite a scare.

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9324572
glabady738
Galen Labady 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Pilot accidentally says the words no one wants to hear over PA system

"Going down" is something most people typically don't mind hearing from a polite elevator attendant or in an Aerosmith song, but it's definitely not something anyone wants to hear a pilot say over the PA system during a flight.

http://now.msn.com/southwest-airlines-pilot-reportedly-says-plane-is-going-down-over-pa-system
kwu20001
kev wu 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Southwest Airlines pilot apparently tells passengers 'We're going down'

As his plane made a rapid descent to normalize cabin pressure, a Southwest Airlines pilot went on the plane's loudspeaker and apparently told passengers the aircraft was going down.
"At first it sounded like someone was coming over the PA to talk. Then it sounded like shots through the cabin, twice, back to back," passenger Grace Stroud told CNN. "Seconds later, the panicked captain said, 'We're in trouble; we're going down.'"

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/14/travel/southwest-flight-scare/