American Airlines Plane Decreases Thousands of Feet in Only 3 Minutes

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

According to flight records, an aircraft belonging to American Airlines and en route to Florida went through a dramatic descent of over 15,000 feet within a mere three-minute timeframe. The information is confirmed by the New York Post. American Airlines Flight 5916 departed from Charlotte, North Carolina, while its destination was set as Gainesville, Florida. During the flight, the flight crew detected a potential problem with pressurization, as communicated by a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration to FOX 35.

An American Airlines spokesperson explained for FOX Business and as the New York Post quotes:

American Eagle flight 5916, operated by Piedmont Airlines, from Charlotte (CLT) to Gainesville, Florida (GNV) landed safely in GNV on Thursday, August 10. While in flight, the crew received an indication of a possible pressurization issue and immediately and safely descended to a lower altitude. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience and thank our team for their professionalism,

The aircraft subsequently executed a landing at Gainesville Regional Airport, arriving shortly before 5 p.m. A passenger named Harrison Hove, who happens to be a University of Florida Professor, shared his experience on social media. Hove described the incident as “terrifying” and praised the cabin staff, flight crew, and pilots for their commendable response.

Data from FlightAware revealed that the flight encountered a nearly 20,000-foot descent within only an 11-minute timeframe. At the 43-minute mark into the flight, the plane underwent an 18,600-foot drop in altitude within a mere six minutes.

Harrison Hove also managed to capture visuals of the flight after the aircraft stabilized. Oxygen masks were deployed due to the rapid loss of altitude. The incident’s cause, as per a statement from American Airlines, was attributed to a malfunction regarding pressurization.

Airplanes are pressurized to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for passengers and crew at cruising altitudes, as that’s the area where the air is too thin for humans to breathe normally.

Sawyer Alim
Sawyer is our team's tech specialist. He's constantly looking for new technologies to try them out and later present to our readers. Sawyer is just getting his start as a journalist, but has over 5 years experience at a tech company.