After a passenger flight was forced into a nosedive over Michigan to avoid a mid-air collision, an investigation has been opened by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Texas-bound Spirit Airlines jetliner carrying 126 passengers was aimed at the earth after the plane’s pilot spotted a small aircraft, which was later discovered to be a skydiving plane.
A cockpit alarm sounded suddenly, directing the pilot to take the craft from its cruising height of 14,400 feet to 12,800 immediately. In a statement, Spirit Airlines commended the pilot for his quick reaction.
ABC News reports that the FAA, examining flight data, said the two aircraft were 1.6 miles apart, horizontally, and 400 feet, vertically.
With no warning, the passenger flight plunged toward the ground. Passengers recall the sudden terror and uncertainty they experienced during the ordeal.
“I was horrified, to say the least,” said one passenger on the Spirit Airlines flight. “I truly thought … we were going down.”
Another said that “people were screaming and crying … we thought that was it.”
Passengers on the flight described people bouncing up and down violently in their seats with overhead compartments opening and falling out into the aisle.
The flight attendants had no warning at all and were seen being jostled roughly, bouncing to the ceiling several times with the drink cart and its contents thrown around. However, they did manage to strap into secure seats.
Despite this, CBS Detroit reports that no passengers were injured in the incident. The flight continued to Dallas without incident.
Several passengers have said that while they don’t blame the pilot for what happened, as it may have saved their lives, some are demanding answers for why there was a close call at all.
After the mid-air close call over Michigan forced a passenger flight to nosedive 1600 feet, the Federal Aviation Administration is searching for those answers.