Add this to the list of incidents you don’t want occurring when you’re 38,000ft up in the sky: A passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing when one of its evacuation slides inflated inside the aircraft.
United Airlines flight 1463 was making its way from Chicago to John Wayne airport in Orange County, California on Sunday when the slide popped out.
It was accompanied by a loud bang and a hissing noise, prompting passenger Taylor Martinez to tweet a picture of the bizarre scene under the headline: “Scariest flight of all time #EmergencyLanding.”
— Taylor Martinez (@TMAG1C) June 30, 2014
According to live tracking website Flight Aware, the Boeing 737-700 experienced a loss of cabin pressure, causing the pilot to descend from 38,000ft to 11,000ft in just 12 minutes.
The flight landed safely in Wichita and none of the 96 travellers and five crew were hurt, United said in a statement.
Passenger Mike Schroeder told CNN: “I heard this pop. I turn around and the slide was open.”
Another passenger, who declined to give her name, said the crew looked panicked during the incident.
“The whole back part of the plane where [the flight attendants] were sitting was full of the chute.
“The first thing that went through my mind was that the chute had probably popped out the door, which meant we would lose pressure immediately, but luckily that didn’t happen. It just inflated inside.”