An American Airlines flight bound for Nashville was forced to make an emergency landing in Birmingham after experiencing turbulence so severe that several passengers were injured.
American Airlines flight AA3609, operated by Envoy Air as part of the American Eagle family, was traveling from the Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Nashville earlier this week when the flight experienced severe turbulence. The small Embraer E-175 jet was crossing the panhandle of Florida when it encountered a storm resulting in severe turbulence.
After 6 of the 52 passengers and two flight attendants were injured, the Nashville-bound flight was forced to divert to the Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) airport so those injured could be taken to the hospital.
According to reports from WATE.com, one passenger, Travis Hamilton, said that “it felt like he was being whipped around on a coaster.” Hamilton further shared, “Before I could finish washing my hands, I was on the roof of the bathroom. Up and down. 10 seconds.”
After the hard turbulence stopped, Hamilton could see blood running down his face and was forced to kick his way out of the bathroom where he noticed a flight attendant bleeding and heard babies screening.
The flight ultimately landed in Alabama without further incident where the passengers and crew were treated for minor injuries.
Passengers were reportedly retrieved by another plane and taken to their final destination.