Southwest flight from Tampa makes emergency landing in Atlanta after engine trouble

Passenger Speaks exclusively with ABC Action News
Posted at 5:33 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 17:43:33-04

Flight 1694 took off from Tampa International Friday morning at 7:40, headed to Nashville, but then about half way through the flight, it made a hard right turn to Atlanta, a "fast and furious" decent from 30-thousand feet, to make an emergency landing.

Now we're getting an exclusive account from a well known passenger, who says the flight attendant made a comment about the plane right before take off.

"Something I hope I never have to go through again," says 99.5 WQKY Radio Host "Cadillac Jack", who says halfway through the flight everyone started smelling smoke and water started leaking from the air vents.

"The captain came on the air said we are smelling smoke and have big electrical problems. We are going to Atlanta," he says.

What happened next was a steep dive to safety...a six minute drop from 30 thousand feet.

"We must have brought that plane down so fast man. Everybody's ears were popping. It was pretty crazy. There was an older gentleman next to me who was screaming because his ears were really hurting that's how fast we were coming down," Cadilac Jack says, whose real name is Tom Kapsalis.

The passenger also says he overheard the flight attendant say the plane was going to the bone yard next month, which gave him a bad feeling before they even got off the ground.

"When I asked the flight attendant how old the plane was he said this is a 300 it's going to the bone yard in Phoenix in a couple of weeks, I was like man maybe I should get off this plane," he says.

Cadillac Jack is happy to be alive and plans on treating himself in Nashville.

"Happy to be safe man I'm going to go get the biggest pastrami on rye I can find," he says.

All 129 passengers are okay and with no injuries.

We asked Southwest Airlines about the flight attendant's alleged comment and a spokesperson said they had no "additional details to share."