Passengers on a JetBlue flight from Las Vegas to New York were left feeling scared and nauseous on Thursday when shortly after takeoff the pilot was forced to declare an emergency.
After takeoff one of the pilots radioed Las Vegas controllers to declare that there was “quite a few things, but the initial thing is . . . we’ve lost two hydraulic systems.”
Passenger Tom Mizer tells the New York Post:
“People were getting sick. Some people were throwing up. There were a lot of people getting nauseous.”
Because of the issues with the planes hydraulics its 155 passengers were forced to sit through steep turns while the plane lurched from side to side. Pilots eventually lost lateral control.
Mizer revealed that the JetBlue crew worked hard for four hours to calm the crew:
“Look at me — I’m smiling. If I was scared, you would know it. If I’m not scared, you don’t need to be.”
The JetBlue flight was forced to circle the Las Vegas airport for four hours because the Airbus A320 can not land on a full fuel tank and it is incapable of dumping excess fuel.
In the meantime passengers were never in any real danger as the Airbus A320 has enough backup systems that if need be the aircraft can be landed manually by flight staff.
Airbus’ own manual calls a double hydraulic failure as “improbably in operation.”
The FAA is now investigating the incident and JetBlue confirmed the hydraulics issue to determine the cause of the double failure.