Mystery of the passing out passengers remains unsolved: Investigation finds NOTHING wrong with plane which was forced to dive 30,000ft as people on board lost consciousness

  • Investigation found nothing wrong with the plane despite the events 
  • SkyWest Inc, based in St. George, Utah, said the jet landed safely and three passengers received medical attention before being released 
  • The Embraer 175 twin-jet, traveling from Chicago to Hartford, Connecticut, carrying 75 passengers dropped from 38,000ft to 10,000ft in three minutes
  • The FAA said initial information indicated the Embraer E170 jet may have had a pressurization problem   
  • Three passengers passed out on board the flight and an additional 15 adults and two children were evaluated upon landing 

No mechanical faults have been found on a plane that was forced to make an emergency landing when three passengers passed out and others felt sick. 

SkyWest Airlines flight 5622 was flying from Chicago to Connecticut when the pilot was alerted to a potential loss of cabin pressure. 

As an increasing number of passengers began to complain of dizzyness, and three lost consciousness, the pilot plunged the aircraft into a terrifying dive to drop 30,000 feet in just eight minutes - before landing in Buffalo, New York.

But despite the calamitous events, an investigation has discovered nothing unusual about the mechanics of the plane.  

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Emergency responders came onboard SkyWest Flight 5622 after it made an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday following a reported loss of cabin pressure

Emergency responders came onboard SkyWest Flight 5622 after it made an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday following a reported loss of cabin pressure

Mary Cunningham, a nurse, who was on board the flight assisted one passenger who passed out, getting her oxygen. She said that the plane did not land because of just one person's medical emergency as a lot of people on board began to feel dizzy and unwell 

Mary Cunningham, a nurse, who was on board the flight assisted one passenger who passed out, getting her oxygen. She said that the plane did not land because of just one person's medical emergency as a lot of people on board began to feel dizzy and unwell 

Passenger Frank Angelo said he immediately feared for the safety of his wife and kids as the plane 'nosedived' 30,000 feet in just eight minutes

Passenger Frank Angelo said he immediately feared for the safety of his wife and kids as the plane 'nosedived' 30,000 feet in just eight minutes

'You could feel something in the air, something just wasn't right,' recalled one passenger before the plane plunged miles in mere minutes

'You could feel something in the air, something just wasn't right,' recalled one passenger before the plane plunged miles in mere minutes. Passenger Larry Johnson, right, said: 'A lot of people with their heads down praying. It just felt like a re-enactment'

While federal safety officials had no explanation for what happened on the aircraft on Wednesday, aviation experts said the flight crew did the right thing by quickly descending to an altitude with life-giving oxygen levels. 

The situation arose about an hour after take-off, when three passengers on the Embraer 175 twin-jet from Chicago to Connecticut lost consciousness and others began feeling dizzy and sick.

Emergency nurse, Mary Cunningham, said she helped treat an unconscious passenger when another passed out beside her and others nearby started feeling faint.

'The flight attendant and myself started not feeling very well while we were in the middle of the flight helping out. I had to sit down. I was short-of-breath, light-headed [and] didn't feel great,' said Cunningham to NBC Connecticut.

Initially, reports came in that a cabin door had opened during the flight, leading to dramatic loss in cabin pressure. 

When the plane landed at 11.40am, the FAA issued a statement saying the crew 'reported a pressurization problem and declared an emergency', shortly before landing in Buffalo.

However, in a second statement the FAA put out on Wednesday afternoon, there was no mention of a 'pressurization' issue.

When contacted by the LA Times to explain this, a spokesperson for the FAA would not say why the change was made.

However, an official with knowledge of the incident told the LA Times that crew members did report that a door had come open at 38,000 feet and was causing 'rapid depressurization.'

When the plane landed, SkyWest initially claimed that the aircraft landed 'out of an abundance of caution' because of one sick passenger and denied there was any mechanical malfunction - which conflicted with reports from people on the plane.

Late on Wednesday, the airline said new information from medical personnel confirmed that 'a total of three passengers reported a loss of consciousness while on the flight'.

On landing this was declared untrue and SkyWest airlines said they were examining what happened on the aircraft midflight.

SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said: 'There were no reports before the unconscious passenger prior to the initiated descent, but I can't speak to what may have been the specific cause of their feeling ill.'

SkyWest added that there was no indication of any problems with the doors and that its mechanics were inspecting the aircraft.

Nose dive: Emergency vehicles surround a SkyWest Airlines plane, operating as United Express, that made an emergency landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Wednesday

Nose dive: Emergency vehicles surround a SkyWest Airlines plane, operating as United Express, that made an emergency landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Wednesday

Flight 5622, from Chicago to Hartford, made an emergency landing in Buffalo

Flight 5622, from Chicago to Hartford, made an emergency landing in Buffalo

Passenger, Dave Barkley, 46, told the LA Times that he was sat near the front of the aircraft and he saw a flight attendant race to the cockpit and tell the pilot passengers were falling unconscious.

Suddenly, the pilot announced the plane was going to begin an emergency landing over Detroit.

'They said there was a pressure problem with the plane,' he said. 'There was no door flying open or anything like that. It was something very gradual.'

Barkley said that while the passengers were calm, he was annoyed about with public statements the airline has made.

'The way SkyWest is reporting it is that someone got sick, and they had to land,' he told the LA Times. 'But the way we understand it, they got sick because of the lack of oxygen or lack of pressure in the plane.' 

A nurse flying on the Embraer 175 twin-jet described a growing sense of panic and hysteria as she herself began to feel ill while treating two women who had passed out.

It was at that moment the pilot took decisive action and put the plane into a steep dive rather than take any risks. 

'The passenger was lethargic. She was responding but her color was off. She didn't look good. We got her some oxygen. She was much more alert after getting the oxygen,' the nurse, Mary Cunningham, tells NBC Connecticut. 

Cunningham says she returned to her seat once the woman felt better. It was then when she says the woman sitting behind the first passed out, as well.

Then Cunningham, herself, took a turn.

Passengers arriving at Buffalo Niagara International Airport react to the group of media gathered to report on a SkyWest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing after one passenger aboard Flight 5622 lost consciousness and the pilots rapidly descended "out of an abundance of caution."

Passengers arriving at Buffalo Niagara International Airport react to the group of media gathered to report on a SkyWest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing after one passenger aboard Flight 5622 lost consciousness and the pilots rapidly descended 'out of an abundance of caution.'

Courtesy WKBW  

'The flight attendant and myself started not feeling very well while we were in the middle of the flight helping out. I had to sit down. I was short-of-breath, light-headed [and] didn't feel great.' 

Passenger Larry Johnson said, 'A lot of people with their heads down praying. It just felt like a re-enactment.'

While another passenger said, 'you could just feel something in the air, something just wasn't quite right.'

For nearly eight minutes, the plane descended at a very steep incline, dropping as fast as 7,000 feet per minute, while flying over Lake Erie, flight tracking service FlightAware said. 

The flight originated in Chicago and had been bound for Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. It landed at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Buffalo at about 11:40 a.m. 

SkyWest Inc., which is based in St. George, Utah, said the jet landed safely and a passenger received medical attention before being released.

An additional 15 adults and two children were evaluated upon landing, but none required treatment outside the airport, airport spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer said.

'Anyone who said they didn't feel well was treated at the gate,' he said. 

'We want to understand the circumstances and what SkyWest knows before we decide what, if any, action we would take,' said Kelly Nantel, spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board. 

Snow said the plane's oxygen masks did not release. 

According to WKBW, one passenger said the plane 'nosedived' and crew told fliers that there was a loss of cabin pressure, but that turned out not to be true. 

SkyWest has 29 Embraer 175s in its fleet. The aircraft seats 76 passengers with two flight attendants. 

In a statement, the FAA said: 'SkyWest Airlines Flight 5622, an Embraer E170 aircraft, landed safely at Buffalo International Airport at 11.40am after the crew declared an emergency.  

'The FAA will investigate.'

The Skywest flight made an emergency landing at Buffalo Airport (pictured) on its journey from Chicago O'Hare to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut

The Skywest flight made an emergency landing at Buffalo Airport (pictured) on its journey from Chicago O'Hare to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut


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