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175 passengers experience terrifying 'Dutch roll' during Southwest flight at 32,000 feet in the air

175 passengers experience terrifying 'Dutch roll' during Southwest flight at 32,000 feet in the air

Passengers experienced the rare move while flying at 32,000 feet

For the most part, flying is a fairly uneventful journey. There might be the odd bit of turbulence or a bumpy landing, but that's usually about it.

But for 175 passengers on a recent Southwest Airlines flight, they got a very different experience and were left terrified after their journey took and unexpected turn as the Boeing aircraft performed a 'Dutch roll' in the air.

The flight travelling from Phoenix to Oakland on May 25 made the rare move at 32,000 feet, resulting in damage to the aircraft, as well as giving the 175 passengers on board the fright of their lives.

A Southwest Airlines flight performed a 'Dutch roll' at 32,000 feet. (DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
A Southwest Airlines flight performed a 'Dutch roll' at 32,000 feet. (DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

For reference, a 'Dutch roll' is when an airplane makes 'a combination of roll, yaw and sideslip', according to PadPilot. It sees the aircraft tip from side to side from the tail leading the left to right motion.

Thankfully, the manoeuvre on May 25 didn't cause any injuries or fatalities to passengers, but did result in damage to the aircraft. The pilots on board safely guided the aircraft back on track, as modern planes are built to combat the effects of a 'Dutch roll' with a yaw damper.

The incident is believed to having being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who in their preliminary report outlined that a power control on the underneath of the plane had been damaged, and this could have been the source of the fault.

The FAA also discussed the event in a statement as it said: "The FAA is working closely with the [National Transportation Safety Board] and Boeing to investigate this event.

"We will take appropriate action based on the findings."

The Southwest Airlines flight had 175 passengers on board when it underwent the scary maneuver. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
The Southwest Airlines flight had 175 passengers on board when it underwent the scary maneuver. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

The fault with the Boeing plane is thought to have been one of the latest in safety concerns over the aircrafts from the manufacturer, as the company faces criticism in recent years.

The aerospace organisation has seen at least 20 whistleblowers step forward raising their concerns over the safety of its aircrafts, as well as other noted technical faults and failures.

Two whistleblowers have since died after speaking out against Boeing.

Earlier this year, the company came under more scrutiny after a door panel blew off an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX-9 during a flight from Oregon to California.

The technical fault saw the plane organisation under the spotlight for safety concerns.

UNILAD has reached out to Southwest Airlines and Boeing for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Nick Ut / Contributor/Smith Collection/Gado / Contributor

Topics: Travel, US News