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Jet Loses Power, Passengers Don Life Jackets Before Safe Landing

July 1, 1987

CINCINNATI (AP) _ The crew of a Delta Airlines jet carrying 202 people inadvertently turned off both engines after takeoff, an airline official said, and passengers said they were told to prepare to crash.

″We had our life jackets on and all I could do was hold Brandon,″ an unidentified passenger holding a child told WCPO-TV.

No one was injured in the incident and the Boeing 767, which took off from Los Angeles International Airport, landed safely here Tuesday evening, said Dave James, Delta marketing director at Greater Cincinnati International Airport.

Flight 810, carrying 194 passengers and eight crew members, was ascending after takeoff at 12:35 p.m. PDT when it lost power in both engines, James said. However, the crew was able to restore power and continued on to Cincinnati. The plane arrived at 7:55 p.m. EDT, 20 minutes late.

Company officials questioned the pilot and co-pilot about the incident after their arrival at the Cincinnati airport. ″The pilots acknowledged that they inadvertently caused the engines to lose power,″ James said.

WCPO-TV showed footage of people crying as they left the plane.

Passengers told the television station that when the engines went off they were instructed to put on life jackets.

″The captain said get ready to crash, that’s all,″ said passenger Mimi Geller. ″I just felt I never want to fly on a plane again.″

Passengers said the jet was heading west over the Pacific Ocean when the engines came back on and the flight resumed.

Delta spokesman Jim Ewing said today that the plane dropped 400 feet in the few seconds the engines were out, but could not say how far from the water the jet was.

″No one really knows and I don’t think it would be fair to say until we get the computer readouts,″ he said.

The airline will get such flight data from its own investigation of the incident, and should have the information Thursday, he said.

James said the Federal Aviation Administration would be notified.

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