Well that was fun...


flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL … /KATL/KMIA

Wife and I going to Miami and the plane is getting ready to leave Atlanta airport when the first Captain deplanes in a hurry due to a death in the family we are told. :neutral_face:

We get a new pilot fairly quickly and continue on and a while later the plane loses pressurization at 40k and the masks do not drop…

Pilot dives to 10,000 in a hurry while my wife calms down the passenger to our left and I do the same for those across the row while we divert to Jacksonville. (Not my wife’s or mine first or worst depressurization) :wink:

On the ground the paramedics show up for one passenger who has either a heart attack or a stroke while the TSA decides if they will let us leave the plane. We have a doctor sitting 2 rows behind us when the call goes out “Is there a Doctor on board?” … :smiley:

I call Delta because I know there is no way the current plane is going anywhere soon with passengers and we have a cruise ship to catch. I get told no problem, they will have it back operational in no time by the person on the phone and I know that is not happening since not only did we lose pressure but the masks did not drop and that is a major issue but nothing to do but ride it out.

A second passenger has problems, I think heat related because it’s getting pretty hot on the plane, paramedics have customer two… After this one the TSA decides to lets us leave the plane…

We are allowed into a cordoned off part of the airport until they find another airplane for us while the TSA guards us for a while…good thing no one needed to go to the bathroom since i see no bathroom within our guarded area. Delta is allowed to bring some containers of food and drinks into our little prison… We are told if anyone leaves the area they will not be allowed to board the new plane.

A new plane is found and the same captain gets us to Miami…

As you can image there are no hotel shuttle buses running so I finally scrounge up a taxi and find a place for us to eat at 2 AM but we did make to the cruise ship so it worked out.

When we get back from the cruise and access our email the wife and I have (2) $150 vouchers for future flights within the next year for the “pressurization issue” from Delta…

I hope the two that carried off the plane got better…

The Captain was great… He did everything he could for us from getting us down safely but quickly when 2 different things went wrong to having “discussions” about a different aircraft to getting us some food while we were locked down to getting us the rest of the way to Miami, and he had got pulled into the flight at the very last minute.

Strangely enough I find no mention of the incident other than the stuff I found on your site when I goggled to see how the other two passengers came out…

So I decided to join… nice site.


Sounds like a classic depressurization that we practice every year in the simulator.
Was the actual depressurization an explosive one or more of a slow leak? If it was slow the cabin altitude may not have gotten high enough to trigger the mask deployment which is generally around 12-14,000 cabin altitude feet depending on the airplane.


There was a load pop heard by everyone on both sides of the plane for about 6 or 7 rows but there was not a sudden loss of large amounts of atmosphere accompanied by it getting very cold or foggy. You could notice a headache coming on and a certain mentally detached kind of feeling.

Had a really bad depressurization before in the 60’s when I was a kid on a MAC flight and a window popped so I know what a bad one is like (lots of screaming, sharp spikes in ears, mist appears and those not strapped in start floating out of seats (seats faced backwards on military transports back then) and everyone trying to catch a mask as the pilot dives for the ocean…followed by the someone hammering nails into my head feeling.


Could have been a clamp letting go or a weld breaking. Something like that.
I’m going to take a stab and say the cabin didn’t get much above 13,000 feet before the airplane got down. That’s enough of a cabin climb rate to be uncomfortable but as you said not enough to produce fog.
Years ago in one of my Learjet schools I learned that Lear had done a calculation based on totally blowing out a cabin window offset by the known emergency decent time. They calculated the cabin likely would get to about 25,000 feet before meeting the airplane going the other way. This assumes normal crew response time and no other damage to the airplane.
Have a nice cruise. I wonder how much of a leak the bilge pumps can handle…