Reprinted from ksl.com
May 11th, 2009 @ 10:03pm
By Nicole Gonzales

SALT LAKE CITY — Passengers on a Delta flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake had some tense moments Sunday when the pilot sent the plane into a steep plunge to avoid another plane.

One couple on board the plane described in detail the dramatic plunge the airplane took as it was coming into Salt Lake International Airport.

The couple, who asked us not to identify them, took a red-eye from Hawaii to Los Angeles Saturday night then hopped on Delta flight 1172 from LAX to Salt Lake on Sunday morning. Their flight was about 10 minutes away from its destination, and flight attendants had already told passengers to prepare for landing, when the unexpected happened.

“All of a sudden, we just felt like we were dropping, like falling from the sky,” the woman said.

Described like the ride from the top of a roller coaster, the husband says it was an out-of-body experience. “I left my soul kind of thing. I left my spirit. My body was dropping and my spirit was up here,” he said.

The passengers say the captain came on the intercom after the plane had stabilized and explained what happened. “There was an aircraft that wasn’t changing its course, and so he had to maneuver the plane so we wouldn’t crash into it,” the woman explained.

Federal Aviation Administration officials say: “The FAA has not received a report from the pilot or air traffic control regarding a near miss on Delta flight number 1172 from Los Angeles to Salt Lake. That, however, does not mean it didn’t happen.”

In such cases, reports aren’t always filed immediately.

Now the couple, along with other passengers, wants more information, like what type of small aircraft was it? And why didn’t it get out of the way?

“I’m very thankful that we had the pilot that we had, because he did the best that he could,” the woman said.

After a nice trip to Hawaii, they say it’s nice to be back safely.

The FAA says it gives pilots more time to file reports because workers there are so busy. Delta said it is waiting to hear back from their flight operations center about the incident.