Allegiant Air flight witnesses nightmarish turbulence, 7 injured

Published on : Friday, May 6, 2016

allegiant aircraftsIn Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the weather is a balmy 82 degrees, the skies are azure blue, the beaches plentiful and the vacationers giddy.

Malachi Witt and his wife, Erica Larsen, both 34, thought there was no point waiting for summer in the US when they arrived among the palm trees and sandy shores. Indeed, Punta Cana did not disappoint. It was the trip back that sent them reeling.

The couple’s tropical holiday came to an end when they boarded an Allegiant Air flight bound for Pittsburgh Thursday, when a traveller’s nightmare began.

The plane was witnessing normal turbulence when the passengers felt a jolt that pulsated through the aircraft. Then came a second, bigger jolt — one that flung people from their seats.

“I thought, ‘The plane’s going down, and I’m going to die,’” Witt said. “It was like the plane’s falling out of the sky.”

“We were flying normal, I was actually sleeping and I heard a little jolt and then all of a sudden a big jolt and I looked over at my mom and she was like flying up in the air,” Heather Osborne, another flier, said while speaking to reporters.

The flight was diverted and met by emergency crew at Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Seven people on board were transported to the hospital which included three passengers, and four were flight attendants. None of them were critical.

In total, there were six crew members and 137 passengers on the charter flight.

“Initial reports from our crew indicate that it was unreported moderate clear air turbulence that caused the injuries and subsequent diversion,” Allegiant Air said in a statement.

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