Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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HomeGeneralPassenger, Flight Attendant Injured on Southwest Flight During Severe Turbulence

Passenger, Flight Attendant Injured on Southwest Flight During Severe Turbulence

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A Southwest Airlines flight (SW4273) from New Orleans to Orlando encountered severe turbulence, and two people were injured. According to a spokesperson for Tampa International Airport, the flight had to make an emergency landing in Tampa, Florida. The captain declared an emergency after experiencing turbulence aboard the Boeing 737 jet, the airline said in a statement.

“The Captain declared an emergency, a requirement to deviate from a filed flight plan, and also requested that paramedics be available when the aircraft arrived to assess any potential injury,” the statement said. The injured passenger and flight attendant were taken to a nearby hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the incident. CNN Weather reported that storms draped over the Gulf of Mexico in the morning, bringing severe weather from the Ohio Valley to the Deep South and causing strong thunderstorms in the area.

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What is Turbulence? 

Turbulence refers to the abrupt change in airflow, which results in erratic movements within the atmosphere. These currents can unsettlingly disturb passengers on an aircraft and, in severe cases, even disrupt the airplane’s control.

ALSO READ: Officials Confirm 4 Adults, 1 Child Dead, in Twin Engine Plane Crash Along Virginia Airport

Southwest Airlines Apologies 

Southwest Airlines reported that passengers arrived in Orlando four-and-a-half hours later than scheduled. “With our apologies for their delayed journey, there is no priority higher than the safest operation of every flight,” the airline said.

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According to Southwest, once the aircraft was on the ground, mechanics looked it over. The irregular motions in the atmosphere create air currents that can jostle passengers on an airplane. 

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Investigation Ongoing 

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how two jetliners were put on an apparent collision course while leaving Reagan National Airport. This is prompting air traffic controllers to frantically radio each plane to stop.

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Air traffic control audio recordings detail controllers shouting for a JetBlue flight to stop its takeoff run as a Southwest Airlines flight began taxiing across the runway in front of it.

According to data compiled by FlightRadar24, the two planes stopped about 400 feet apart. The data also shows that at least the Southwest flight’s “forward fuselage” had entered the runway.

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Management Shakeup 

Similarly, in March 2024, it was reported that Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun would leave the beleaguered company at the end of the year. The announcement came amid a major management shakeup. Boeing’s chairman and the head of the commercial airplane unit are also leaving.

Boeing’s chairman, Larry Kellner, will not stand for re-election as a board director. The board had elected former Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf to succeed him. The company also announced that Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, would retire. Stephanie Pope, Boeing’s chief operating officer since January, took his place effective immediately.

Boeing Problems

Boeing has been buffeted by more than five years of problems with its airplanes, including two fatal crashes of the 737 Max in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. Also, most recently, a door plug blew out of the side of an Alaska Airlines 737 Max in January. Again, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the plane.

ALSO READ: Virgin Galactic Reports Spaceplane’s Mechanical Fault to FAA

The problems have led to multiple groundings for safety issues and more than $31 billion in cumulative losses. In a letter to Boeing employees Monday, Calhoun called the Alaska Airlines incident “a watershed moment for Boeing.”

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“The eyes of the world are on us,” he said, announcing his departure plans. “We are going to fix what isn’t working, and we are going to get our company back on the track towards recovery and stability.”

In an interview with CNBC, Calhoun said the decision to leave was “100%” his choice. But it came in the face of widespread criticism of the company by CEOs of many of the world’s major airlines Boeing depends upon to buy its planes.

Reason Calhoun Is Yet To Leave

Calhoun told CNBC why he decided to stay on through the end of the year rather than leave immediately: “We have another mountain to climb. Let’s not avoid what happened with Alaska Air. Let’s not avoid the call for action.”

“Also, let’s not avoid the changes that we need to make in our factories,” Calhoun said. “We will get through that.” He added, “I’ve committed myself to the board to do exactly that.”

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