According to flight records, an American Airlines aircraft en route to Florida experienced a rapid descent of more than 15,000 feet within a span of three minutes. The incident involved American Airlines Flight 5916, which departed from Charlotte, North Carolina, and was on its way to Gainesville, Florida. The crew members aboard the plane reported a potential pressurization problem, as stated by a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration to FOX 35.
Subsequently, the aircraft safely touched down at Gainesville Regional Airport shortly before 5 p.m. A passenger named Harrison Hove, who is a University of Florida Professor, shared his account of the ordeal on social media, describing it as a “terrifying” experience. Hove, who has a significant amount of flying experience, expressed his admiration for the exceptional performance of the flight crew, cabin staff, and pilots of American Air 5916.
The images fail to convey the acrid scent of burning, the jarring noise of a loud bang, or the discomfort of sudden ear pressure changes.
According to FlightAware data, the flight experienced a nearly 20,000-foot descent in just 11 minutes.
Approximately 43 minutes into the flight, the aircraft descended rapidly by 18,600 feet in a mere six-minute timeframe.
Hove conveyed on X, the platform previously referred to as Twitter, “Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin.” He further explained, “The burning smell can apparently be attributed to using the oxygen canisters. The wing flaps came out to immediately lower our altitude so there would be more oxygen. It was terrifying but turned out ok.”
In an official statement, a representative from American Airlines informed FOX Business that the abrupt altitude drop was attributed to a pressurization complication.