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Fortunately, very few of us have been in a situation where we've had to use the emergency slide to exit an airplane, although many of us have wondered how those things deploy so quickly and efficiently.
Sunday night, a group of United Airlines passengers found out the hard way.
A chute deployed inside of UA Flight 1463 from Chicago to Orange County, California's John Wayne Airport, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas.
Passenger Mike Schroeder told KWCH television in Wichita he heard a hiss and a pop, turned around and watched as the slide started to open inside the plane.
"We've been flying for years, I've never seen this before," Schroeder said.
United Airlines released a statement saying the 96 passengers and five crew members aboard the Boeing 737-700 were all seated at the time of the inadvertent deployment of the emergency slide. No one was hurt and the plane landed safely at Mid-Continent Airport.
The FAA and United maintenance workers are investigating what happened with the malfunction, but insist that initial reports that a passenger opened a door mid-flight are patently false. (And physically impossible.)
According to KWCH in Wichita, passengers were taken off the plane about an hour after it landed. Two United planes were used this morning to take passengers on to California after the airline put them up for the night in Wichita.
Rich Thomaselli has written for TravelPulse since 2014 and has been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. His work has...
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