September 27th, 2010
07:33 AM ET

Delta passengers discuss filming landing scare

Passengers on Delta flight 4951 experienced a scare when the plane, bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport was forced to make a without its right wheel. The landing gear had failed. The pilot said flight attendants told 64 passengers to “prepare for the worst," but the plane landed - sparks flying - on the runway and no one was hurt. Passengers erupted in applause.

Kiran Chetry with "American Morning" talked exclusively with passengers Chase Benzenberg and Alessandro Albero who shot video of the emergency landing.

Alessandro Albero: The first indication [of equipment malfunction] was while we were circling Westchester airport. We circled for a good 20 minutes. We were joking around with each other saying I don't know if he knows where the landing strip is. And then they made the announcement on the loud speaker.

Kiran Chetry: What did they say?

Chase Benzenberg:
They said we're going to be making an emergency landing. They didn't really have many details except there was no landing gear. So we're envisioning belly slide the whole way with sparks, but they came out later and said it was only the right rear landing gear that came down so it'd be hitting the wing.

Chetry: And what did it feel like to land?

Albero: Landing was actually quite smooth. The pilot did a wonderful job. We came down and, you know, the plane tipped slightly and the sparks came out. You guys saw the video. It was pretty intense. But they did a wonderful job.

Chetry: You know, it was funny - if there can be anything funny in this heart-stopping situation - you clearly heard the flight attendant. You could hear the stress in her voice, stay down, heads down. Clearly you guys weren't listening.

Well, we tried to follow directions. But she actually made it more intense than I think it was. But that's what the right thing to do in that situation is though so you don't bang your head. We didn't know what to expect, if we were going to flip or anything. So [we're] following directions at that point while filming, as well.

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. logan

    so glad they are okay! phewwwwww! it's hard not to take video of something that intense – just like we take videos of tornadoes when we are supposed to be in the basement!

    September 27, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. April

    Shouldn't this guy have his head down rather than being concerned with filming. Not to mention he could have lost his grip on the camera and it could have flown through the cabin causing injury.
    He is incredibly disrespectful of others before him whose landings did not turn out so well for them. This is a potentially dangerous situation.
    Shame on CNN for making an ireporter out of someone breaking the rules.

    September 27, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      I agree with you 100 percent!!! Being a flight attendant, and once again they were not listening to the FAA regulations that I'm sure that ,that flight attendant annouced. Turn off and stow all poratable electronic devices, and get into your emergency landing positions. Once again the passengers had their ten min. of fame. This is what sets us off when we try to do our job to make sure that everyone is following our instructions. Saftey First!!!! Shame on you CNN

      September 27, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • miguelito

      If I'm going to die I'm not going to care about your stupid regulations.

      December 8, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. brown

    Where are the close-up's of the terrorized passengers? It's obvious the plane was for of sheeple!

    September 27, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Barry

    Another example of professionalism at work – cool, collected, and competent job by the pilots. You guys rarely talk about the routine heroism of pilots (except for Sully and his crew), but instead focus on the relatively rare complications of "pilot error". These guys and gals don't get paid nearly enough for the training and level of responsibility that they carry. As a general aviation pilot, I stand in awe of what the pros accomplish on a daily basis. Kudos to a job well done.

    September 27, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Robert

    From 2004 through 2008 I did a lot of business travel. In short order I picked my favorite hotel chain, rental car company, and airline. The hands-down choice for the latter was Delta. I believe they were the first to flirt with possible bankruptcy, so their personnel hunkered down like soldiers and did their very best with what they had. I advised hard-working flight attendants that they'd be okay - sooner or later Delta would leap to the top and buy another airline. I was right - they up and bought Northwest. So nice to be right....

    From time to time I hear of Delta's redemptive surges, and I feel good. This landing gear incident also demonstrates what is possible when keep their head and stay professional no matter the situation. So nice when hard work and diligence yield for the true believers who don't give up when it's difficult. Makes me recall the line from the film A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN - "I t's the hard that makes it great."

    A hearty Bravo Zulu to the people of Delta Airlines. In this difficult time of tragic job losses and foreclosures, we need to take notice of your courage and strive to do likewise.

    September 27, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Daisy Nogoy

    Was a flight attendant for just a brief amount of time. The "heads down, stay down" lesson was just a routine one. Congratulations to the flight crew that followed by the book procedures, injuries were averted and passengers went home safe.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. angel

    Thannk god everyone is ok

    September 27, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mr. Potatohead

    Well i guess the passengers didn't listen to the command to turn off all electronic devies before landing. Perhaps that was the reason for the landing gear to not work... 😉 lol.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Former News Photog

    Kathy, as a former newsie I would have rolled tape on this as well. A tape like that is worth a fortune, easily 100k or more by the time it makes the news nets and reality show rounds. Its not like the camera is going to explode or fly thru the cabin decapitating people. Relax. I've shot video of everything from mundane car wrecks to shootouts in progress. I know a thing or two about shooting news footage. These guys did nothing wrong, and made for some incredible video. Hopefully they armart enough to know not to give it away for free.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      What do you mean they did nothing wrong. As a Flight Attendant, they (the passengers) did everything wrong. Having that camera out, or anything out for that matter can become a projectile upon impact. Not to mention that they were not in their brace positions for landing, you can bet your life that if they had been injured because of their stupidity, they would be suing. JUST FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS, they are not made up just for the fun of it

      November 19, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Cruiser

      FORMER, indeed.

      November 21, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. James

    Funny! I have been on two different flights several years ago that made emergency landings because of landing gear problems. There was no media coverage of these flights? Anything these days for a story I guess! The media overblows everything in this day and time. They attempt to make everything a sensation!!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rick 2

    Former News Photog...yes you probably would have "rolled tape', in the hope that once it went national you'd get a job offer from a larger market. Yet, in an emergency situation such as this instructions from flight crew need to be heeded. They are the TRAINED professionals in this case.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Allen

    Don't know if anyone already said this, but watching the full video I kinda get the impression the flight attendant had previously worked for the advertising firm that made the "head on" commercials.

    November 20, 2010 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Arvo

    does having your head down increase your chance of surving a plane crash I think not Seat belts in a crash are also virtually useless too.

    November 20, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cruiser

    They are all heroes!

    November 21, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    Delta and many other airlines are in need of complete overhaul or repairs. Lately, these so called mechanical failures are occurring way too often. It tells us that airplanes that are owned by Delta and many other airlines are coming to end of life period. Yet, they charge passengers for the smallest things on the plane. If they want to charge us, at least make sure the plane is in working order.

    November 24, 2010 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |