Miami-bound flight with superintendent, politician makes emergen - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Miami-bound flight with superintendent, politician makes emergency landing

Posted: Updated:
Alberto Carvalho (front, right) and Mario Diaz-Balart (rear, right) and others. Alberto Carvalho (front, right) and Mario Diaz-Balart (rear, right) and others.
Crews responding to the emergency landing. Crews responding to the emergency landing.
Tweet sent out by Mario Diaz-Balart. Tweet sent out by Mario Diaz-Balart.

MIAMI (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade School's superintendent and a political figure experienced some trouble on their way home to South Florida, when their flight from Tallahassee was forced to make an emergency landing in Tampa.

The emergency landing happened Thursday night. The flight was initially delayed twice. Then, after takeoff, a small explosion was heard, followed by a strong smell of smoke coming from the cockpit.

"I could smell but I couldn't see the smoke," said Miami-Dade School's Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

South Florida political figures, including Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and his wife, Tia Diaz-Balart, were also on board the American Airlines jet. "The flight was going just fine and then in mid-flight there was kinda like a bang followed by grinding sounds, almost like metal on metal grinding," said Tia.

"He said, 'We are going down for emergency landing make sure that you grab your legs and bend down,'" said Mario.

The flight attendant informed us that we were going to make an emergency landing," said Carvalho. "The most dramatic moment was when the pilot, we were ready to deploy the chutes and go out through the exit doors. Last minute, the pilot told us not to do so, and shortly thereafter in a matter of seconds, I think there were firefighters in Hazmat suits and these helmets. I have never seen anything like this. They climbed onto the plane. One of them I didn't even know he was a firefighter proceeded to walk down the aisle."

Tia said her family was on her mind through the whole incident. "The first thing that goes through our minds is our family, our 8-year-old son," she said.

Carvalho said it was like something out of a movie. "They climbed onto the plane, and they proceeded, one of them, I didn't even know he was a firefighter, proceeded to walk down the aisle with what appeared to be a gun, but it was actually an infrared device that he was pointing at the airplane," he said.

Crew members told the 46 passengers to brace for a crash landing. "We landed very quickly, an abrupt stop, but the landing I wouldn't say it was a crash landing," said the superintendent.

Diaz-Balart tweeted a thank you to the crew that reads: "Flight I was on from Tallahassee to MIA was diverted to Tampa for emergency landing. Everyone is OK; big thanks to flight crew and first responders."

"Everyone was so relieved and so grateful," said Tia. "It was really just a moment of, yeah, we did it. We are here. Everything is great."

The passengers remained in Tampa overnight, because there were no more Miami-bound flights Thursday night. Hotel rooms and meal vouchers were provided.

Carvalho arrived back in Miami Friday morning and said he could not be happier to be back at work. "This is the best relief for me, is to connect back to kids, to teachers, to education," said Carvalho.

American Airlines has said there was a maintenance issue. The part that cools and heats the cabin malfunctioned.


  • On Deco DriveMore>>

  • Maxi Priest

    Maxi Priest

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:44:55 GMT
    It's all about the seven year itch for Maxi Priest. That's how long its been since the Reggae singer has released an album, but he got those creative juices flowing and he's back with "Easy to Love."
    It's all about the seven year itch for Maxi Priest. That's how long its been since the Reggae singer has released an album, but he got those creative juices flowing and he's back with "Easy to Love."
  • If I Stay

    If I Stay

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:04:24 GMT
    If I Stay is based on a best seller. Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a teen cellist facing tough choices, both here and in the space between life and death. Chloe and her co-star Jamie Blackley are telling Deco: bring some tissues, it's a tear jerker.
    If I Stay is based on a best seller. Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a teen cellist facing tough choices, both here and in the space between life and death. Chloe and her co-star Jamie Blackley are telling Deco: bring some tissues, it's a tear jerker.

  • Sin City

    Sin City

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:28 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:28:47 GMT
    Kindness and charm, unlike the people that live in Sin City, and i'm not talking about Vegas either. Things have changed in the town of Sin as in the motion picture while others have stayed the same. The cast of the movie told Deco what's new in part two.?
    Kindness and charm, unlike the people that live in Sin City, and i'm not talking about Vegas either. Things have changed in the town of Sin as in the motion picture while others have stayed the same. The cast of the movie told Deco what's new in part two.?
  • NationalMore>>

  • National Guard to withdraw from a quieter Ferguson

    National Guard to withdraw from a quieter Ferguson

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:44 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:44:44 GMT
    The streets of Ferguson have been peaceful for another night, as protests and tensions have been subsiding in the St. Louis suburb where unrest had erupted for several nights after a white police officer fatally...
    The streets of Ferguson were peaceful for another night, as protests and tensions subsided in the St. Louis suburb where unrest erupted after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.
  • Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

    Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:15 AM EDT2014-08-22 09:15:14 GMT
    A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college...
    A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college students who...
  • After emotional day, former governor back on stand

    After emotional day, former governor back on stand

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:54 AM EDT2014-08-22 08:54:42 GMT
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who says that at one time he got in the habit of working late to escape his wife's wrath, has once again taken refuge - this time at the rectory in St. Patrick's Catholic...
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who says that at one time he got in the habit of working late to escape his wife's wrath, has once again taken refuge - this time at the rectory in St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 1 arrested after boating GPS units stolen, 1 at large

    1 arrested after boating GPS units stolen, 1 at large

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:24 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:24:31 GMT
    KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Authorities are searching for one of two men accused of stealing GPS units from boats, early Friday morning.
    KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Authorities are searching for one of two men accused of stealing GPS units from boats, early Friday morning.
  • No progress made in meeting between Dade mayor, police

    No progress made in meeting between Dade mayor, police

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-08-22 09:57:12 GMT
    CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Not much has improved after a meeting Thursday between Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the police union who have been hoping to balance the budget without laying off officers.
    CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Not much has improved after a meeting Thursday between Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the police union who have been hoping to balance the budget without laying off officers.
  • Boat explodes on Miami River; no significant injuries

    Boat explodes on Miami River; no significant injuries

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:56 AM EDT2014-08-22 09:56:29 GMT
    MIAMI -- Miami Fire Rescue has extinguished a boat fire at a dock on the Miami River.
    MIAMI -- Miami Fire Rescue has extinguished a boat fire at a dock on the Miami River.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.