On December 18, passengers on a United flight were shocked when their plane from Hawaii plunged toward the Pacific Ocean for 21 seconds shortly after takeoff and came within about 800 feet of sea level, flight tracking data show.

Thankfully no one was injured on Flight 1722 but the ride was anything but safe.

“It felt like you were climbing to the top of a roller coaster. It was at that point. There were a number of screams on the plane. Everybody knew that something was out of the ordinary, or at least that this was not normal,” said passenger Rod Williams II.


Williams studied aviation in college so he had an idea of what was happening, but his children and many other passengers were terrified. The plane gained speed as it dropped 1,425 feet from 2,200 feet before regaining its climb out of Kahului. 

The National Transportation Safety Board announced on Tuesday that it would be investigating the incident, a quick reversal from its previous statement. NTSB tweeted that a “preliminary report is expected in 2-3 weeks”

The FAA conducted an investigation in December but did not share its findings because the “confidentiality of this program is critical to its success.”

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