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'We are in emergency. We have 177 passengers, need to return back...': How pilot landed Alaska Airlines safely

Audio of the pilot communicating with air traffic control as the emergency was unfolding shows how she calmly navigated the plane to safety.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Washington Published on: January 07, 2024 18:41 IST
Alaska Airlines
Image Source : AP Alaska Airlines

An Alaska Airlines jetliner blew out a window and a portion of its fuselage shortly after takeoff 3 miles (4.8 kilometres) above Oregon late Friday, creating a gaping hole that forced the pilots to make an emergency landing as its more than 170 passengers and six crew members donned oxygen masks.

No one was seriously hurt as the depressurized plane returned safely to Portland International Airport about 20 minutes after it had departed.

The audio of the pilot communicating with air traffic control as the emergency was unfolding shows how she calmly navigated the plane to safety.

Alaska Airlines 1282 Flight Audio

“We are in emergency, we are depressurized,” the pilot says to air traffic control.

The transcript

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Seattle Alaska 1282, we just depressurized, we’re declaring an emergency. We need to descend down to 10,000. We just need to depressurize...and we need to return back to Portland.”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Hey Portland approach Alaska 1282 emergency aircraft we’re now leveling 12,000 and left turn heading 340.”

Air traffic controller: “1282 foreign approach. Good afternoon. You still have information zero?”Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yeah, we do have information zero, we’d like to get lower, if possible.”

Air traffic controller: “Possibility 1282 descend and maintain 7,000.”

Air traffic controller: “Alaska 1282 did you declare an emergency or did you need to return to …”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yes, we are in an emergency, we are depressurized, we do need to return back to, we have 177 passengers. Fuel is 18-eight.”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Our fuel is 18,900 pounds and we have 177 passengers on board.”

Air traffic controller: “Alaska 1282 roger. And do you need time to burn off some fuel before you land?”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Negative.”

Air traffic controller: “Alaska 1282 so you’re ready for the approach now? Runway 28 left OK?”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “We need about ten minutes. Alaska 1282.”

Air traffic controller: “Roger, just let me know when you’re ready.”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “We’ll let you know. Alaska 1282.”

Air traffic controller: “Coming in a little bit, uh, unreadable, very quiet. The only information we have is a pressurization issue and 177 passengers and 18,900 pounds of fuel, and as of right now, we do not know the intentions of the aircraft.”

Air traffic controller: “The emergency aircraft will be the next arrival, they are on a two-mile final you can expect access to the runway.”

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Alaska Airlines temporarily grounds all Boeing 737-9 aircraft after the window blows open mid-air

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