MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - There was a scare in the air on board a plane that departed from Miami International Airport.
Passengers dealt with the terrifying moments aboard American Airlines flight 329 from Miami to New Orleans, Saturday night.
“American 329, descending to 10,000 [feet]. We need to head back to Miami,” said a pilot.
Shortly after takeoff, there was a mayday call from the cockpit.
“We heed to go to Fort Myers, American 329, descending 10,000,” said the pilot.
“What seems to be the issue?” said a controller.
“We’re losing pressurization,” the pilot said.
The cabin pressure reportedly dropped, which caused panic among the passengers and crew. The plane was roughly 150 miles away from MIA.
“Center, American 329, we’d like to go to Miami,” the pilot said. “The weather is better there.”
“Roger, cleared to Miami International,” the controller said.
“They were experiencing that the plane couldn’t hold the pressure,” said aviation expert Benny Benitez.
“The pilot was effectively flying the airplane, another crew member effectively communicating [with] mid traffic control, and I can bet for sure that the professional cabin crew in the back were doing there job, keeping people calm,” Benitez said.
The flight was able to make it back to South Florida and landed safely at MIA.
“What kind of assistance do you guys need on the ground?” the controller said.
“We don’t need assistance,” the pilot said. “We are – we would like to clear the runway and then taxi to the gate. We just lost our pressurization.”
“Do you know if the masks in the cabin deployed?” the controller said.
“Negative, they did not deploy,” the pilot said.
“The fact that they were saying that none of the passenger’s oxygen masks deployed, I would say that it might have been such a subtle seepage, there wasn’t any indication to do it,” Benitez said.
Federal investigators are now looking into the close call to try and figure out what caused that loss in cabin pressure.
There were no reported injuries, and the flight took off again Saturday evening.
Wednesday night, a spokesperson for American Airlines issued a statement that reads, “On May 13, American Airlines flight 329 with service from Miami (MIA) to New Orleans (MSY) returned to MIA due to a mechanical issue. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to the gate normally where customers and crew boarded a replacement aircraft for MSY. We never want to disrupt our customers travel plans and apologize for the trouble this may have caused.”
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