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FAA reveals what caused Southwest flight to plummet

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RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The FAA has released new information in the Southwest Airlines flight bound for RDU that plummeted in midair causing panic among passengers.

New information reveals that equipment used to maintain cabin pressure malfunctioned on flight 3426. Officials say both air conditioning systems failed during the flight from Tampa. Those systems supply pressure to the aircraft, and when they stopped working the plane dropped thousands of feet.

As the pilot worked to regain altitude, Southwest said he mistakenly activated the P.A. system and sent his plan of action meant for crew members to passengers.

"When he put the P.A. on it was like a 'psshhhhhhh,' that kind of sound," passenger Shelley Wills said. "It came on three times and then that's when we heard, 'we're going down.'"

The pilot was able to correct the pressurization problem and landed safely. However, Wills said the miscommunication left many passengers upset and fearing for their lives. Southwest emailed an apology for the "confusion" and issued $200 vouchers.

Click here to read more at ABC11.com

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