KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Six people were hurt after an flight from Charlotte to Knoxville descended 3,000 feet in a matter of seconds, according to the FAA.
It happened overnight Thursday into Friday morning. Passengers say there was no warning of turbulence and had never experienced anything like that before.
The flight was initially delayed when the on board crew timed out, but after finding a new crew flight 5634 took off.
Passengers expected a smooth, less than an hour flight, but halfway through it all changed.
Bill Fitzgerald is no stranger to flying.
"Like getting on a car, getting on a bus."
He's on at least four flights every week and was on flight 5634.
"We had a little bit of turbulence, nothing rough," he said
20 minutes from landing, though, the plane dropped 3,000 feet in an instant.
"I just remember every newspaper and magazine that was in that was in the air, and then as we bottomed out everything slammed down on the ground," said Fitzgerald.
The unbuckled flight attendants were just two of the handful on board that faced injuries.
"She was airborne very fast then hit her head and came down to the ground very hard," he said. "Another flight attendant moved to the jump seat, was able to grab some bags of ice that were going to be used for drinks usually, slide those down the aisle and get ice on her ankles and head."
Another passenger said on a scale of one to ten on the amount of turbulence, she'd call it a 15.
Fitzgerald said it was all too surreal.
"You think could that have gone down, could that have been the time?"
He's thankful to be home safe and hopes to never experiences that again.
"It does make you say a prayer, be thankful for what you have and you hope the people injured are doing okay," he said.
When the plane landed at 1 a.m. Friday, medics were on scene to get everyone hurt the help they needed.