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Passengers on a Jet Airways flight ended up with bloody ears and noses after pilots forgot to pressurize the plane

Brian Pascus
Passengers on a Jet Airways flight ended up with bloody ears and noses after pilots forgot to pressurize the plane
  • Crew members on a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur, India, on Thursday forgot to press a switch to pressurize the plane, leading several passengers to report bleeding from their ears and noses due to low cabin pressure, CNN reported.
  • In a statement to Business Insider, Jet Airways said that "five guests who were referred to a hospital for additional medical check-up accompanied by the Jet Airways' Care team have since been released, post medical examination."
  • Cabin pressure is maintained by a flight's crew to ensure comfort for everyone aboard. When air pressure is lower, there is less oxygen available, and the air becomes thinner and drier, which can cause bleeding from the ears and nose.

A Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur, India, was forced to turn back on Thursday after its pilots failed to pressurize the jet after takeoff, causing several passengers to complain of bleeding from their ears and noses due to low cabin pressure,CNN reported.

Jet Airways Flight 9W 697, a Boeing 737 with 166 passengers and five crew members, "made an air turn back due to loss in cabin pressure," Jet Airways said in a statement on Twitter.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India's aviation regulator, confirmed to the CNN affiliate News 18 India that the incident was caused by an error by the flight's crew members, saying that during the plane's climb they forgot to select "bleed switch," so cabin pressurization could not be maintained, and oxygen masks were deployed.

"Engine bleed air" helps pressurize an airliner's cabin and provide air conditioning, according to Flying magazine.

The flight's crew members have been taken off scheduled duties pending an investigation, Jet Airways said on Twitter.

The airline told Business Insider in a separate statement that "five guests who were referred to a hospital for additional medical check-up accompanied by the Jet Airways' Care team have since been released, post medical examination."

"The airline will continue to offer necessary medical care and attention to the concerned guests as required," Jet Airways added.

Modern jetliners can cruise at altitudes of about 30,000 to 40,000 feet - levels with far lower air pressure than what our bodies are accustomed to. Cabin pressure is thus maintained by a flight's crew to ensure comfort for everyone aboard. When air pressure is lower, there is less oxygen available, and the air becomes thinner and drier, which can cause bleeding from the ears and nose.

The flight-tracking website Flightradar24 tweeted an image showing Flight 9W 697's route.

https://twitter.com/flightradar24/status/1042636936526086144?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

One passenger tweeted a video of what happened after oxygen masks dropped because of the sudden decrease in air pressure.

https://twitter.com/DarshakHathi/status/1042588121634951170?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

In a statement to Business Insider, Jet Airways said that "144 of the 166 guests of the original flight travelled to Jaipur via an alternative flight of the airline, while 17 of them wished to travel at another point in time."

Jet Airways added that it was "extending full cooperation to the DGCA for the ongoing investigation of the event."