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There’s an In-Flight Emergency: What Kind of Passenger Are You?

There’s an In-Flight Emergency: What Kind of Passenger Are You?
Meg Butler

What would you do if the crew on your flight informed you that an engine on the plane was out? The passengers on Swift Air Flight WA1996 flying from Caracas, Venezuela to Miami, Florida found out the hard way when an engine on their Boeing 737-400 failed. Video of the passengers on that flight has gone viral, not just because it captures the panic passengers can feel when something goes wrong on a plane, but because it proves that some of us react very differently to an in-flight emergency. For some, it’s time to pray. For others, it’s time to drink:

Thankfully, the crew was able to get the plane down safely by returning to Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo. The engine failure occurred just 30 minutes into the flight.  The Swift Air flight was operating the Dominican Republic to Miami leg of the flight since Venezuelan operator LASER Airlines is banned from serving the United States after a May 15th suspension by the Trump administration. A statement from the Department of Homeland Security cited “conditions in Venezuela [that] threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew traveling to or from that country.”

View Comments (5)


  1. jrpallante

    October 25, 2019 at 6:09 am

    I have been in this situation on a small prop plane flying from DEN to DRO. The 20 or so passengers all remained calm (or at least quiet) while we circled back to DEN and made an emergency landing amidst dozens of emergency vehicles. It was a pretty tense 20 minutes, but I found a modicum of solace in the thought that this was my family’s best chance to become millionaires. Small consolation while I am dying in a ball of flames, but “always look on the bright side of life…”

  2. In2ishn

    October 25, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Pass that bottle

  3. Dublin_rfk

    October 27, 2019 at 5:18 am

    Having actually experienced using the ‘escape’ slides post event twice. Both times were precautionary but were a really wild adrenaline ride. So I do know what kind of passenger I am and I am extremely concerned in this time of rampant cellphone use about a third experience. Just think about the dozens of projectiles flying about the cabin on a hard stop event.

  4. jlc1978

    October 27, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Given a multi-engine plane can fly quite safely after losing one engine there is no reason to worry. Of course, most passengers probably don’t realize that is part of the design requirements.

  5. alexmyboy

    October 28, 2019 at 5:35 am

    I swear like a sailor

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