More than 100 American Airlines passengers got an unexpected four-hour layover in Boise after their jetliner developed problems on a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Portland, Ore.
A cracked windshield and loss of cabin pressure caused American Airlines Flight 1289 to make an unscheduled landing at the Boise airport Saturday evening.A spokesman at the Boise Airport Control Tower said 120 people were aboard the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (an elongated DC-9) headed from Dallas-Fort Worth to Portland when it developed "pressurization fluctuation."
Cheri Hammer of Eugene, Ore., was on the flight headed home after a semester of "Last Chance Ministry" school in Tyler, Texas.
"I was asleep when it happened," Hammer said. "The captain said we were having pressure fluctuation, and I started praying."
When she saw the fire trucks at the end of the runway, Hammer said, "I knew it was a good thing that I was praying."
Craig Jones of Portland was returning home on the flight, and after hearing of the cracked windshield, attempted to shoot a photograph of it.
"I stuck my head in the cabin and saw the windshield on the right was broken," Jones said. "When I tried to shoot a picture of it, they told me I couldn't and said if I did they'd confiscate my camera."
The aircraft made the emergency landing in Boise at 7:19 p.m.
The passengers were kept on the plane for more than 90 minutes before being allowed to leave it and enter the terminal.
American Airlines sent a plane from San Francisco to pick up the passengers. It was scheduled to leave Boise and take the passengers on to Portland.
Terry Lavy of Fayetteville, Ark., said passengers felt the cabin depressurize before the captain announced the problem. "You could really feel the pressure change in your ears," he said.
Airport security and fire officials refused to comment on the cause or extent of damage.