"My theory about flying is any landing you walk away from is a good one."
-Michael J. Schroeder (or "Vader" to Moxley Confidential readers), to a reporter after his flight to Orange County from Chicago was diverted to Wichita Sunday evening when an emergency evacuation slide inflated in-flight.
Orange County's back room Republican kingmaker (and former state GOP chairman) explained to Wichita Times what happened on United Airlines flight 1463 from Chicago O'Hare to John Wayne Airport:
"I heard a kind of loud pop and hissing noise and I turned around to the back and that slide that would normally go outside the plane so you can slide down in an emergency had for some odd reason deployed inside the plane while we were flying. Fortunately nobody was back there."
Everyone stayed calm and started taking pictures of it with their cellphones as the pilot came on the intercom and announced he was going to land right away, Vader related.
"He said 'I'll figure out where' and a few minutes later he said, 'We're going to Wichita.' … When the pilot came out right after landing he said, 'Oh golly, I've never seen that before.'"
No injuries were reported among the 95 passengers and five crew members aboard the Boeing 737-700. United put passengers up at a nearby hotel so they could fly out this morning. The airline also countered an earlier report that indicated a passenger had attempted to open a door in-flight. Maintenance crews were inspecting the aircraft to determine what happened.