Emergency Landing – the rest of the story

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Pantagraph did this story about a flight from Columbia Mo. to Chicago made an emergency landing in Bloomington last night:  https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/public_safety/chicago-bound-regional-jet-makes-emergency-landing-in-bloomington/article_390f574d-ce47-5824-874c-ce4d6f1731f6.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1

That story might make you think it was no big deal.  Other media has a different story.  Evidently the Pantagraph didn’t send a reporter to the airport to talk to the passengers.  The story wasn’t the simple emergency landing they reported.



Passenger Charlie Fowler said the crew on board United Airlines flight 5228 went immediately into emergency mode.

“We practiced brace positions and the flight attendant, Andy, was yelling ‘head down stay down’ over and over again,” he said.

Fowler said the woman behind him was crying. Another woman called her husband to tell her she loved him.

This story has a video from a television station in Missouri who reported.  They interviewed one of the passengers.   


Written text of the incident:

COLUMBIA – Panic, tears and frantic phone calls followed an announcement by the captain of SkyWest flight 5228 that something was wrong.

Passenger Charlie Fowler said the pilot announced: “We lost one of the engines.”

“I don’t know what happened to it, but one of the engines was completely dead,” Fowler said.

He said people were “freaking out.”

“I was looking out the window, which wasn’t the best idea because the plane was shaking like crazy. The wings were shaking, the woman next to me kept holding my hand, no idea who she was,” he said.

Fowler said winds were very rough.

At one point we dipped really hard, which was not a lot of fun. Once the turbulence started happening, people started crying. The woman next to me texted her husband, ‘plane’s not doing well, I love you’.”

Fowler said he was one row behind the exit row and saw the flight attendant approach.

“So, she came over and told the people in front of me that there was a strong possibility they would have to take the windows off and shove the door out and do the whole emergency landing thing,” he said.

The attendant walked down each aisle and made sure everyone knew how to get in brace position.

“At one point though, the flight attendant, who did a great job, sat down and strapped herself in and she yelled ‘brace, brace, brace. Heads down, stay down.’ She screamed that for five minutes until we landed and came to a complete stop,” Fowler said.

The pilot tried to redirect to Peoria but apparently couldn’t land there so had to reroute again to Bloomington, Fowler said.

“The landing was really rough, worse than I expected”

When the plane touched down, passengers burst into applause, Fowler said.

“Getting off the plane took a while because everyone was hugging the pilot and the flight attendant,” he said.

Fowler said he’s impressed with how the staff handled everything.

“Really happy to be on the ground, happy that our pilots knew what they were doing,” he said.


28 thoughts on “Emergency Landing – the rest of the story

  1. another great job by our wonderful Pantagraph!!!! reporting news unbiased and ass it happens…..

  2. The Pantagraph is pathetic in so many ways. This is just another example of how really bad they are at anything but being paid shills for the establishment. The Pantagraph and the RC Goebbels led WGLT are the not so dynamic establishment propaganda arms of Mayor Little Man and Fuhrer Koos. Nothing to see here folks…. please disperse.

  3. Pantygraph-nothing, jbc-nothing, glt-nothing, great work Diane. Do you ever sleep ?
    Thank you for your diligence.

      1. With air travel here WAY down, the last thing CIRA needs is negative press about an emergency landing. The Pantagraph is just doing their job… which is to not do their job and support the establishment narrative.

          1. That would have required work and journalism. I don’t know about how much they work but they certainly fail as journalists.

  4. The Pantagraph showed why they are known as the weakly reader. All the effort on this story: 1) repeating a press release by airport 2) checking the United Airlines website 3) posting a stock footage picture of a years old emergency exercise. Then they have the nerve to put up begging spam to “support local journalism”. Someday when they show they actually do this maybe one will consider doing such. For now all they do is “happy news”: and responding to their masters at city hall and democratic headquarters….

  5. Diane, Thank you so much for sharing the details of this story! This situation was terrifying for those passengers – they were unsure of their fate and making calls to their family members! (I cannot even imagine – WOW!) Thanks again, Diane – really appreciate all of your research and sharing the details with us!!

  6. Thank goodness there was no crash and everyone is safe! Yeah dumb on the P-graph part. They could have used a good read in their paper for a change. Complete total idiots that bunch. Waste of ink and resources. And thank goodness for BLNnews.

  7. If only airplane were made to fly with one engine when one fails….. oh wait they are. It’s really not a big deals these things happen in the aviation world every single day.

      1. Changing to BMI could’ve been due to a number of reason. There were areas of cove rove build up in central Illinois last evening. Cloud ceilings, visibility, wind direction and speed all play a part. The pilot in charge is going to pick the airport which they feel will be best fit for the emergency. Just to divert to BMI doesn’t really mean anything.

      2. Not trying to argue or cause anyone to feel attacked. Traveling by commercial aviation is far saver than driving your car to the local grocery store.

    1. Really? You want to show some documentation for this claim? Of course you can not/ I like people like you as it makes me feel like a genius. Yes they can fly with one engine with no margin for error. If that engine has a problem then it is over. Then the plane would be much like you, “J” operati g or thinking with no working parts.

    2. Right…. nothing to talk about here? No big deal… Just another day in aviation…. No changes at all to the control of the aircraft and how it handles in different climactic conditions… Nice to hear this from an aeronautical engineer. Oh…It’s just J who doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about but wants to pretend to the world that he does? Go away J – the adults are in charge here.

        1. Right J – I am an astronaut and a deep sea diver on the side. We have a lot in common! When in hole… stop digging J

      1. I am not digging and have no reason to lie to you. Just simply speaking from an aviation stand point and from someone who has time in the cockpit. You really aren’t acting much like an adult if you are in fact having an adult conversation. I’m not trying to argue or offend anyone. Commercial aviation is far more safe than driving to the grocery store down the road from your home. That is all I am saying.

  8. Diane,

    Though I also did not go to the airport to get the full story, everything you described is routine in a one engine landing in a standard two engine jet powered airline environment. These emergency procedures are mandated in Federal Aviation Administration Satutes. This appears to be nothing more than a routine procedure in this case. It is my understanding that the anomaly was later cleared on this aircraft at it flew again today. This aircraft is designed with a great deal of duplication involved. It is very capable even on one engine. Though the proper reports and inspections must also be completed, these types of incidents happen in the airline industry monthly . Most of these procedures allow for extra precaution and safety.

    1. Spoke with my brother who is a pilot. He was 20 year Air Force pilot and current a commercial pilot for the last 11 years. He has had to divert for weather and medical emergencies but only had to land on one engine once and that was in the F15. He had an engine fire warning and shut one down. Yes these planes are designed to fly with one engine and yes they were following procedures. But this is a rare occurrence. His carrier has 4K flights per day and if something like this happens it is news. Thanks for the detailed report Diane!

  9. OK J and Kevin – this story is about our media not covering a legitimate story about people who thought they were going to die over our city. This is not an article about whether or not this is REALLY something out-of-the-ordinary. This about another example of our media doing a half-a$$ job covering anything but cheer-leading the establishment narratives. Get a clue… you lose an engine and it’s a problem… I don’t want to go through something like that and really don’t think either of you would either.

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