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A Spirit Airlines Passenger Says the Plane Was Ready for a Possible Water Landing After the Flight Had What Looked Like a Mechanical Problem


A passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight from Jamaica to Florida told CNN that the cabin was full of fear and confusion on Sunday because people were told to get ready for a possible water landing after the plane was turned around for what looked like a mechanical problem.

The plane was on its way to Fort Lauderdale, but the airline said in a statement that it turned around and safely returned to Montego Bay, Jamaica, “out of an abundance of caution following a suspected mechanical issue.” The people got off the plane and were then put on a different one to get where they were going.

The accident happened after an all-time high number of flights began the holiday weekend. On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration said it had checked more travelers than ever before. The announcement was made in a post on X.

Bettina Rogers, a passenger, recorded a video of the plane taking off. In the video, a chiming sound can be heard twice in the cabin, but it’s not clear what it means.

Rogers said that soon after the signal, the pilot told the passengers, “There’s nothing to be alarmed about.”

Rogers said that after about five minutes, the pilot told the passengers that the plane had to go back to the Montego Bay airport. She said that as the plane turned around, the pilot said, “Get ready for an emergency water landing.”

Rogers said, “It was scary, and people were freaking out and panicking.”

Rogers took film of the cabin after the plane landed safely. There was a lot of nervous chatter, and as people got off the plane, orange life vests were all over the floor and seats.

The passengers got off the plane “normally,” and Spirit said in a statement that a new plane was set up to take them to Fort Lauderdale. It was safe for Rogers to get to her location in Atlanta.

The airline said, “Safety is our top priority, and our maintenance team will carefully look over the plane.” “We’re sorry for any trouble this may have caused our guests.”

A United Airlines flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport failed to take off on Monday because of what the Federal Aviation Administration called an engine fire.

On the same day, a Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Tampa, Florida, was sent back to Colorado Springs because there was “a possible smell of smoke in the cabin,” according to a Southwest statement.

In a message to CNN, Southwest said, “Southwest flight 1070 safely diverted.” They were sorry for the trouble.

“The flight crew followed established procedures, landed the plane, and made sure that all customers and crew got off safely,” the statement said.

There have been a few very bad plane crashes and a string of smaller accidents and mechanical problems on planes, mostly Boeing jets. This has made some passengers feel more uneasy.

The year began with an Alaska Airlines plug door blowing out in the middle of a flight. Since then, there have been several serious cases of turbulence, including last week’s crash of a Singapore Airlines flight from London that killed one person and hurt 71 others.

A number of less serious accidents have also caught the attention of tourists and people in charge of air safety.

The FAA said in March that it is closely monitoring United Airlines because of a number of problems with its Boeing jets, such as an external panel going missing, flames shooting from an engine after takeoff, and a wheel coming off.

Experts in aviation say that commercial flights are still one of the safest ways to travel in the US, even though these kinds of events have caused worry. In the United States, the last big commercial plane accident that killed someone was in 2009. From 2010 to 2022, there were five deaths in commercial flight accidents.

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