Delta Flight Plunges 30,000ft In Just Seven Minutes Causing Utter Panic

by : Lucy Connolly on : 20 Sep 2019 13:28
Plane plunges while flyingPlane plunges while flyingBrutusOsceola/OsteenSawyer/Twitter

Passengers on board a Delta flight were left fearing for their lives when the plane plunged nearly 30,000 feet in less than seven minutes.

The flight was halfway through its journey from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday (September 18) when the plane dropped from 39,000 feet to just 10,000 feet.


This sudden drop was a result of the pilots making an emergency landing due to an irregularity with the cabin pressure, although passengers on board flight 2353 believed they were about to die.

As reported by the New York Post, a Delta spokesperson said the flight was forced to divert to Tampa ‘out of an abundance of caution and landed without incident following a cabin pressurisation irregularity en route’.

The airline company apologised to their passengers, who took pictures and shared videos of the chaos that ensued once the plane started to fall – with oxygen masks deployed and passengers comforting each other as they tried to figure out what was going on.


One passenger, 34-year-old Brandon Tomlinson, was travelling on the flight with his one-year-old son and his mother when ‘all of a sudden’ the oxygen masks dropped down.

He told UNILAD people all around him were hyperventilating:

There were passengers that were becoming panicked by hyperventilating and some that were crying, including my mother who was right next to me. My son cried a little bit too.

I tried to keep as calm as possible, however on the inside I was really nervous and just felt stressed by the whole situation as it was really scary.


The 34-year-old father said it felt like a ‘roller coaster’ when the plane began its quick descent, and became aware there was a ‘real situation’ going on when the captain came into the cabin to explain there was an issue with the pressurisation.

He explained how he thought this was ‘going to be the end’, adding:

I had made terms with that, so I told my mum I love her, texted my wife and father to tell them I love them, and hugged my son as close as I could.

Brandon only felt hope when the captain assured everyone they would be diverted to Tampa International Airport, after which he said he and his fellow passengers began to calm down.


He praised Delta for handling the situation ‘really well,’ adding: ‘I can’t speak highly enough as to how well the pilot and crew members handled the situation as it was unfolding in front of everyone’.

Plane plunges while flyingPlane plunges while flyingBrutusOsceola/Twitter

Another passenger, Harris DeWoskin, told WFTS a similar story:

Out of nowhere, I felt what felt like a sort of a rapid descent. We started dropping in altitude and then the oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane. Chaos sort of ensued amongst the passengers.

One of the flight attendants, I believe, grabbed the intercom and was just repeating over the intercom stating, ‘Do not panic! Do not panic!’ But, obviously, it’s a hectic moment so, the passengers around me, a lot of people, were kind of hyperventilating.


DeWoskin also contacted his girlfriend and family members who weren’t on the flight, to let them know ‘some scary stuff’ was happening on the plummeting plane.

Delta Air Lines spokesperson Anthony Black told BuzzFeed News that while an aircraft depressurisation issue during a flight is ‘extremely rare,’ it is something pilots are trained for.

The plane remained at Tampa International on Wednesday night while mechanics worked to figure out what went wrong.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, Atlanta, danger, US News


New York Post and 2 others
  1. New York Post

    In-flight ‘chaos’ as Delta flight plunges almost 30,000 feet

  2. WFTS

    Flight to Fort Lauderdale makes emergency landing to Tampa after issue with cabin pressure

  3. Buzzfeed News

    A Delta Plane Plunged Nearly 30,000 Feet Midflight As Terrified Passengers Grabbed Oxygen Masks