Strong winds force plane to divert to TF Green Airport


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — Monday night’s winds caused a commercial jet to be diverted from Bradley International Airport to T.F. Green Airport. 

One of the passengers told 22News the plane tried to land three times before they gave up and flew to Rhode Island.  

Cousins Roger, Chantal, and Arielle from Chicopee and Westfield were headed home from a Florida vacation Monday, aboard the Southwest flight 2169 into Bradley.

Most of the flight went fine until the Boeing 737 with 146 passengers aboard attempted to land at Bradley.

“It just got to a point where it was really bad, and we were rocking all over the place,” Roger Desrochers told 22News. “It kept getting worse and worse. And it was very scary.”

Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandy King told 22News the flight was diverted to Providence after high winds prevented a safe landing in Windsor Locks.  

An FAA Accident and Incident Notification filed Tuesday stated that one of the wings tips struck the ground while attempting to land in strong winds. 

“We touched down, and then we ended up like bouncing and coming back up again,” Desrochers described. “There was a lot of you know, screaming.” 

“It hit really, really hard,” said Arielle Parenteau of Westfield. “You know what I’m saying, there was just a big crash. Everyone got really really scared. I just felt it go right back up.” 

Desrochers said passengers were crying and screaming. He said he managed to call his mom when he wasn’t sure they’d land. 

“After the first failed landing, and the whole thing… I was super nervous, and I wasn’t sure we were going to make it,” Desrochers added. “I just told her that I love her.” 

Desrochers said passengers applauded when they landed, and passengers were offered flights back to Hartford, but the cousins said they opted to get picked up in Providence.  

“I was relieved,” Chantal Parenteau. “I was still freaked out, I just wanted to get off the plane. People were like running out. I do want to go on a plane again, but I don’t know when I will.” 

Southwest Airlines said they were reaching out to passengers to apologize, refund their tickets, and provide a voucher for a future flight.  

The cousins said they’ll be traveling by car for a while.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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