Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cabin pressure loss on Continental Boeing 737, with 7 Congressmen aboard

Ron PaulOn Tuesday, July 22, 2008, a Continental Airlines Boeing 737-700 aircraft experienced a loss of cabin pressure while en route from Houston to Washington, DC. The aircraft diverted to New Orleans. No one was injured.

Among the passengers on board Continental Flight COA458 were seven Congressmen from Texas, including Rep. Ron Paul (pictured at right), formerly a candidate for the U.S. Presidency. The other Congressmen on the flight were Reps. John Carter, Henry Cuellar, Nick Lampson, Solomon P. Ortiz, Ted Poe, and Ciro Rodriguez.

The aircraft had departed from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport and was en route to Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. when the incident occurred. According to various news reports, the aircraft cabin lost pressure, and oxygen masks deployed in the passenger cabin. The aircraft made an emergency descent and diverted to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, where it landed safely.

Rep. Lampson released a statement in which he said, "Continental Airline’s personnel and staff were exceptional, executing what seemed to me a textbook performance in emergency procedures. I was very impressed with the level of professionalism and care the crew exercised in mitigating this situation and ensuring the safety of all the passengers."

There is a strange footnote to this tale. The seven lawmakers were returning to Washington to cast their votes on an aviation safety bill. H.R. 6493: Aviation Safety Enhancement Act of 2008, was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday, by a vote of 392-0, with 42 not voting.

[Photo Source]