Chicago: Plane Returns After Take-off (pressurization) : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Thursday April 5 10:18 PM ET Plane Returns After Chicago Takeoff

CHICAGO (AP) - A Denver-bound Frontier Airlines flight returned to Midway Airport shortly after takeoff Thursday because of pressurization problems, authorities said.

Frontier spokeswoman Tracey Kelly said Flight 661, a Boeing 737 with 100 passengers and five crew members on board, experienced the pressure problems at 18,000 feet.

``The captain brought the plane down to 10,000 feet and the problems went away. But the oxygen masks over the seats had been released and were dangling in front of the passengers, so he returned to Midway,'' Kelly said.

Kelly said there were no injuries that required hospitalization, but the airline called paramedics to treat several people who experienced ear discomfort because of the sudden change in cabin pressure.

-- Rachel Gibson (, April 08, 2001


From personal knowledge, I know that the reported "ear discomfort" to passengers from an airplane pressurization mishap can be major, in some cases. Some people may experience permanent and even disabling ear damage. But these long term tragic sequalae don't make it into news reports, nor even into aviation safety mishap records.

Again, from personal knowledge, as an aircraft stress engineer at Boeing Commercial Aircraft: Boeing did not, in 1996, recognize that severe aircraft pressurization related ear injuries were a problem that even existed. Hence, it follows that this high cost to ultimate customers was not considered in aircraft engineering cost-benefit tradeoff judgments or design practices.

-- Robert Riggs (, April 08, 2001.

But the airlines don't mind the added expense of ATT phones on the back of the seats that are rarely used.

-- David Williams (, April 09, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ