We watch movies and television shows that depict emergency flight landings, but when we hear about it in the news, it seems even scarier and unreal. This is especially true for the people on board, and you understand why there are many people who have a fear of flying. In the beginning of February, a United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Tucson International Airport. Although there were no injuries reported, an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration is taking place to see what exactly forced the emergency landing.
Excessive smoke force emergency landing
United Airlines Flight 6517 left from Tucson and was supposed to head to Los Angeles International Airport. This flight took off at 6am on Sunday February 7th, carrying 77 passengers. After just a short time in the air, pilots aboard reported smoke in the cockpit, which was obviously unusual. This smoke also made its way into the cabin, where many of the passengers on board became breathless. Just moments after being in the air, pilots decided to turn right back around and make an emergency landing. Even though there was no fire, officials decided it was best to evacuate all passengers from the plane.
Passengers on board discuss the scare
Tiffany Lizares was one of the passengers on board, traveling with her three month old baby and husband. She stated that the smoke smell was so strong, that she covered her baby with a blanket so the baby would avoid breathing in the smoke. She even said she handed her child to her husband in case they needed to make a run for it upon landing. Since her husband is a faster runner, he would be able to get their baby off of the plane quickly. Lizares was able to evacuate out the left, which had an exit ramp, while other passengers were forced to jump out of the plane to evacuate. Jessica Scott was another passenger aboard who said that everyone on board was terrified and panicked. Thankfully this panic was short lived as the plane made a quick emergency landing.
United Airlines one of the best?
Airline Ratings named United Airlines as one of the 22 safest airline in the entire world, based on findings that came out in the beginning of 2016. Airlines were rated based on several different factors related to aviation audits from both government and private sectors, as well as fatality records. This emergency landing by the company was definitely shocking, but showed good judgment on the pilot's part. The Economist noted that since the merger between United and Continental Airlines, the company has been called one of the worst airlines. Because of these reviews of the company, United has been working really hard to improve their image. Of course with an emergency landing due to unknown smoke in the plane and no other information, they might have to do some more work to prove they can be one of the best airline providers for travelers.