A flight attendant on an Allegiant Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Lexington, Kentucky, was injured after the pilots had to take ‘evasive’ action to avoid a collision with a private Gulfstream business jet which was flying at the same altitude.
Allegiant Airlines flight 485 had just taken off and was still climbing to its cruising altitude on Sunday when the pilots suddenly brought the aircraft into a much steeper and more rapid climb in order to increase the distance between it and the private jet.
During this ‘evasive’ manoeuvre, two flight attendants were flung to the floor, one of whom was left injured and crying out in pain and had to be helped back to the galley by their colleagues.
The Airbus A320 aircraft had to return to Fort Lauderdale so that the flight attendant could receive medical attention, although neither the airline nor the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided further details about the extent of the flight attendant’s injuries.
Allegiant Airlines declined to comment on the incident because of the “active investigation” underway by the FAA. In a statement, the FAA confirmed that the pilots of Allegiant flight 485 had taken evasive action to avoid a mid-air collision.
According to the agency, the Allegiant plane and the private jet were both at an altitude of 23,000 feet when air traffic control instructed the pilots of the Allegiant aircraft to turn eastbound. As the plane turned, it headed directly into the path of the Gulfstream jet, which was flying northbound off the coast of Florida.
By this point, the flight attendants had already been released from their jumpseats in order to start the service and they were out in the cabin when the plane suddenly climbed without warning.
The FAA said the pilots then declared a medical emergency due to the injured flight attendant, and the flight was cleared to return to Fort Lauderdale. The same aircraft completed the flight to Lexington the same day but landed around nine hours late.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.