SAN ANTONIO – A passenger on board SkyWest Flight 5588 from Houston to Monterrey, Mexico, that made an emergency landing in San Antonio Sunday described the incident as frightening.
"People would think that it's not as serious because there was no explosion but when you are inside the plane actually, you don't know what to think about," Josh Almoite said via a Skype interview. "You're just scared. You're just there and it's happening. It was surreal."
Almoite posted a video to Instagram shortly after the flight, operating as United Express, landed safely. He said himself and 50 other passengers traveling from Chicago to Monterrey experienced turbulence twice.
Almoite said their original flight couldn't land Saturday due to weather so they were diverted to Houston. Then Sunday, passengers were told they were making an emergency landing in San Antonio.
"We were in the area of Monterrey already in Mexico and then they said that they can't land because there was a landing gear problem and the computer wasn't able to detect we had the tires on," Almoite said.
A spokeswoman for SkyWest issued a statement saying the Embraer-manufactured E175 crew received a gear indication. Upon landing in San Antonio, the nose gear failed. Emergency slides were deployed and San Antonio Fire Department crews helped every one safely deplane.
"The tower advised us that all the landing gear was down so the plane continued to burn a little fuel," SAFD spokesman Joe Arrington said. "It landed. Everything held until a ways down the runway and the nose gear of the plane collapsed."
Arrington reported one woman suffered a minor ankle injury.
Mechanics were dispatched to inspect the aircraft and SkyWest is conducting a full investigation into what may have caused the incident.
SkyWest did work with United to provide an additional flight to Monterrey. Almoite said he and others were provided pizza prior to leaving San Antonio International Airport.