NTSB Releases Preliminary Report - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: NTSB Releases Preliminary Report

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BILLINGS -

The National Transportation Safety Board releases the preliminary report into the investigation of the United flight that experienced a rocky descent into Billings. Officials say the plane encountered severe, clear air turbulence from Denver to Billings last month.

Of the 114 passengers and five crew members, two were seriously hurt and nine people, including an infant, had minor injuries. A United spokesperson says the aircraft was taken to Houston for repairs and is now back in service.

On February 17th, Ruth Behnke received a phone call about her daughter, the United Airlines flight attendant who was injured after the plane on which she was working experienced severe, clear air turbulence.

"I received a phone call that day, that evening, which is the kind of phone call no one ever wants to get, but I was very shocked," Behnke said. "It just happened to be a big coincidence that it was her birthday. And that was kind of part of the shock. I got a call and I thought it was her calling me back, so I didn't think it was bad news. But that's just how those things unfold and we're all grateful it wasn't worse."

Behnke says she flew to Billings to be with her daughter at St. Vincent Healthcare and New Hope rehabilitation center as she was treated for broken bones and a head injury. Now, she's back home in the Denver area.

"She's working toward recovering," Behnke said. "It's just one of those things that will take some time because of broken bones, but she has a real good attitude and she is just coming along beautifully."

Behnke said she is grateful for all of the support from United Airlines and the Billings community.

"Most of the people I encountered in Billings didn't even know who I was of course but everybody was just so very nice," she said. "It made a difference when a person is in a difficult situation like that."

She has a list of people she would like to thank for support: paramedics, first responders, medical personnel at St. Vincent, United Airlines support, the Association of Flight Attendants, Best Western Clocktower Inn, Crowne Plaza, Stella's restaurant, and many others.

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