Flight lands safely after alarm warns of possible pressure loss

A mid-morning United Express flight headed to the Rogue Valley from San Francisco created a brief stir at the Medford airport when a warning signal indicated the loss of cabin pressure.

"It turned out to be more of an alarm system problem than actual depressurization," Airport Director Bern Case said.

The masks, which automatically deploy if there is a loss of cabin pressure, didn't deploy, he said. "Generally, if the pressurization falls, you fly at lower altitude, but we're in a valley so they can't really fly much lower until they get here."

The 30-passenger Embraer Brasilia EMB 120 operated by SkyWest Airlines of St. George, Utah, due to land at 9:48 a.m., was already past a diversion point when the problem occurred. Flight 5625 landed safely at 9:49 a.m.

"They were close enough to here that this was the right place for them to come in," Case said. "The pilot declared (a potential emergency), we stood by and everything went OK."

Once the plane was on the ground, it didn't take long to evaluate the problem, Case said, adding it took off for San Francisco at 10:15 a.m., within its normal departure time.

Case said the airport staff is alerted to possible emergencies several times a year.

"We can get them a couple time a month, sometimes three or four," he said. "But then we can go three or four months without anything happening."

— Greg Stiles

Share This Story