Southwest emergency landing in Yuma

Southwest emergency landing in Yuma

Posted: Apr 02, 2011 9:21 PM Sunday, April 3, 2011 12:21 AM EST

By Felicia Martinez – email

Yuma, AZ April 2 – A press briefing is held Saturday morning after Southwest Flight 812 made an emergency landing at Yuma International Airport on Friday.

The National Transportation Safety Board says they are in the early phases of the investigation to determine what exactly happened on the Boeing 737. NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt says “We are here in Yuma to collect the perishable evidence that’s the information that can go away with the passage of time.”

According to Robert Sumwalt, a board member with NTSB they have two teams in Yuma investigating as well as at Southwest headquarters in Dallas. Sumwalt says today is the first day of the investigation and they were able to get on the 737 this afternoon. He says, “We have discovered that the hole is about five feet by one foot wide so that’s where we are right now.”

Sumwalt tells News 13 NTSB will be gathering statements from the flight crew, flight attendants, and possibly some of the passengers to get their perspectives. In the mean time some passengers are already sharing their experience. One female passenger onboard the Southwest flight says, “Nobody freaked out on the flight there was one woman who got upset but everyone stayed calm the flight attendants were amazing.” Another passenger on flight 812 says, “The way that the pilot brought the plane down was amazing. I think we were at 36,000 feet or something and he brought it down to 10,000 feet in four minutes. So, we were going down fast you could tell this wasn’t any joke.”

According to Southwest officials 118 passengers were on board the flight originally headed to Sacramento from Phoenix and nobody was seriously hurt. Passengers from the plane reunited with loved ones in Sacramento grateful the situation wasn’t worse.
NTSB says their goal is to find out what happened and why so they can prevent it from happening again. Additionally, NTSB anticipates being in Yuma for the next three to four days investigating.

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