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Chicago-Bound Flight Diverted After Dropping 10,000 Feet

Image: Chicago-Bound Flight Diverted After Dropping 10,000 Feet
In this Aug. 2, 2015 file photo, a United Express jet takes off. (AP Photo/Larry MacDougal)

By    |   Monday, 10 Aug 2015 09:59 AM

A Chicago-bound United Airlines flight was diverted to Indianapolis on Sunday after a cabin-pressure issue forced the crew to drop the airliner 10,000 feet in just minutes.

Flight 5919, operated by United's regional partner ExpressJet, was traveling from Charlotte in North Carolina to Chicago when it dropped over Kentucky, close to the Ohio state line, according to Chicago Heights Patch.

"There was a pressurization issue and our crew safely brought the plane down to a lower altitude," said ExpressJet spokesman Jarek Beem. "There was no unexpected drop."

The flight was scheduled to land at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at 7:55 a.m.,  Central time, but the crew discovered a mechanical problem related to cabin pressure, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"The focus at that point was changing altitude as safely and as quickly as possible," said Beem.

The flight landed in Indianapolis at 8:26 a.m., Eastern time, and passengers were taken by bus to Chicago, noted Patch.

WMAQ-TV reported some passengers complained of headaches and ear problems after the airliner dropped in altitude, according to Jeff Dutton, communications manager at the Indianapolis Airport Authority.

Beem said several passengers asked to see medical personnel after leaving the airplane and they were examined and released. He said none of the passengers or flight staff were taken to the hospital.

"The crew followed procedure to bring the aircraft to a lower altitude following a pressurization issue," said Beem.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford told the Chicago Sun-Times that the aircraft was an Embraer E145 and that the agency would follow up with the airline to find what caused the pressurization problem.

It has been a troubled summer for United, reported Bloomberg News. The airline suffered two major technology-related problems over the past six weeks that grounded flights, including a two-hour network outage on July 8 that halted flights worldwide. Those incidents followed other technology mishaps in 2012 and 2014, which snarled reservations and crew- schedule systems.

And Sunday's incident was just the latest drama for Chicago flights. Last Thursday, a United passenger was arrested after he allegedly declined to turn off his cell phone and then hit another passenger and a Chicago police officer, according to WLS-TV.

Adam Kealing, 31, of Austin, Texas, was charged with four misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and battery causing bodily harm after he was arrested taken off United flight 5587.

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A Chicago-bound United Airlines flight was diverted to Indianapolis on Sunday after a cabin-pressure issue forced the crew to drop the airliner 10,000 feet in just minutes.
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Monday, 10 Aug 2015 09:59 AM
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