There are a lot of things we take for granted when we fly. Small changes like air conditioning, or, in particular, cabin pressure can make a huge difference to both passengers and flight crew.
Unfortunately, one tiny mistake can end up grounding a flight. After pilots on a Jet Airways flight between Mumbai and Jaipur allegedly forgot to flip the switch that normalizes the cabin pressure on the flight, 30 passengers complained of ear pain and nose bleeds, forcing the flight to make an emergency landing, CNBC reported.
All 166 passengers and five crew members landed safely back in Mumbai after being in the air only 45 minutes, but that was enough time for “panic” to set in, according to passenger Darshak Hathi, who tweeted a video of oxygen masks being deployed.
Hathi told South Asia news agency ANI the air conditioning also malfunctioned during the flight.
Lalit Gupta, deputy director general of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), confirmed the incident was due to pilots accidentally neglecting to regulate the cabin pressure, according to the Hindustan Times.
“The 9W 697 Mumbai-Jaipur flight was turned back to Mumbai after take off as, during the climb, crew forgot to select switch to maintain cabin pressure. This resulted in the oxygen masks dropping. Thirty out of 166 passengers experienced nose and ear bleeding, some also complained of headache,” said Gupta.
Some passengers were (understandably) frustrated with the situation.
All passengers who experienced medical issues were given first aid upon landing.
Jet Airways said in a statement that the company “regretted the inconvenience” and that the pilots in questions have been taken off the schedule for the time being.
According to ANI, passengers were able to board a new flight an hour after landing.
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