St. Louis passenger aboard flight in severe turbulence: 'It was - KMOV.com

St. Louis passenger aboard flight in severe turbulence: 'It was just a very frightening scene'

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By Daniel Fredman By Daniel Fredman

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A St. Louis man says his flight from Seoul, South Korea to Dallas was one of the scariest moments of his life. 

Passengers aboard American Flight 280 from Seoul, South Korea joined St. Louis native John Mitchell in fear. 

Fourteen people needed medical attention after the plane hit severe turbulence and was forced to make a landing in Tokyo. There, passengers were put up for the night until conditions improved. 

Mitchell says some of the passengers were so shaken up that they didn't get on the next flight to continue their trip. Mitchell recorded the turbulence on flight 280 and says things got rough about 90 minutes after take off, lasting about a half hour. 

"The plane was going side to side and up and down," said Mitchell as he explained the roller coaster like movement. "It was just a very, very frightening scene."

The trip was even more puzzling because the pilot had announced it would be smooth sailing on the flight to Dallas. Passengers didn't know if the plane had been taken over and Mitchell says there was no word from the cockpit for about thirty minutes while the plane was going through the rocky conditions. 

'There were people bouncing off the ceiling," said Mitchell. "The food carts tipped over. One landed on a flight attendant, she was hurt pretty badly." 

Mitchell can be heard talking about his feelings for his family during the recording. 

"I love my family. I love my family very much."

Mitchell was returning to the U.S. after working in Korea as an English teacher. 

Mitchell says after the turbulence, "it was the quietest flight you'd ever want to hear." He also says he thinks the passengers were all in a reflective mood and that there was a bit of applause when the plane finally touched down. 

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