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The Southwest Flight 2547 landed back at Oakland International Airport shortly after 10 a.m. local time, according to FlightAware and NBC Bay Area's chopper overhead. Shortly beforehand, the plane descended to about 375 feet and flew by the tower in Oakland so air traffic controllers could visually inspect the landing gear.
"We were all clapping and crying," said Ashley Stasio of San Francisco, who was on her way to visit her parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She explained that passengers didn't realize what was going on for some time. "But three hours in," she said, "I knew something wasn't right."
Once the flight attendants and pilots told the people on board what was happening, and that they had to stay in the air to burn fuel, Stasio said that "people started to panic at the end. You never know if they are telling you the truth." She said the woman next to her was crying, others were holding hands and scores of passengers were on their phones. "I'm sure they were sending messages to loved ones," Stasio said.