Dust, wind create heart-stopping moments for airline passengers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dust, wind create heart-stopping moments for airline passengers

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Ben Lyons Ben Lyons
Jerry Gumbert Jerry Gumbert
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Lubbock experienced high winds and blowing dusts for the third consecutive day, and while it's an annoyance for local residents, it created some heart-stopping moments for those trying to fly in and out.

Business consultant and frequent traveler Jerry Gumbert said, "Last night was unlike any experience I've ever had. As we descended to make our landing in Lubbock, it was the eeriest feeling that I ever had. Instead of coming down into white or gray-like clouds, they were dark brown clouds that were swirling in turbulence that as we got lower and lower became greater and greater."

Gumbert is an experienced traveler. Over the past 20 years he has been flying about three days a week, but last night was a first.

"As we approached the airport to begin to land, the pilot took a really sharp turn. It's the first time I've experienced this ever in my life," he said. "I'm on an aisle seat and I'm looking straight down at the ground so the wings were like this (pointed towards the ground) as he banked we passed the airport just because the sustained winds were so heavy."

Gumbert says it caused even the most confident passenger some anxiety.

"I can tell you that the people on the airplane itself were unnerved. A lot of white knuckles holding on to both side of their chair rail, and unfortunately for many, not being able to keep their stomach contents down."

The dust storm also canceled a visit from Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.

"We were flying in and the sky started getting orange. You could tell we had a dust storm. This is still about 100 miles away or so... Then, as we got closer and closer, the air got denser and denser - so much so that we couldn't even see," he said.

Passenger Ben Lyons and his son were flying into town to visit family.

"The sky was not very clear. It gave us a pretty bumpy ride coming in. It's kind of what I imagine in Lubbock," he said.

But even with the dust and high winds, few flights were delayed on Tuesday.

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