RonO (rono_60103) wrote,

I'm Trying to Figure This One Out

There are reports this morning (I cannot find a link online) that a Continental flight from Newark to Los Angles had to divert to Farmington NM when a passenger had a heart attack.

I can understand landing ASAP in that situation. But what I cannot understand is diverting to Farmington instead of Albuquerque? Considering that the plane was probably at, or near, its "cursing altitude" so it would take some time to descend to landing. So did that make Farmington significantly closer than Albuquerque.

According to the TV reports, because the runway was too short, the plane had to be offloaded completely and two other planes were used to get the plane (I assume), everyone and all of their luggage to LAX. Had they instead landed in Albuquerque, they could have taken back off after refueling - the strip at ABQ/KAFB regularly handles large planes, and has handled 747s on occasion (albiet ones from a pair that may be specially configured for short runways). Additionally, Albuquerque has the state's only Level I trama center - not that the hospital in Farmington wouldn't be able to handle a routine heart attack, but I'd think that they'd rather avoid the second airlift if it wasn't routine.

So, as I said, I'm just wondering why the plane diverted to Farmington.

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