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Chicago-bound flight lands in Indianapolis after plane drops 10,000 feet

A flight headed to Chicago on Sunday morning was diverted to Indianapolis after the plane suddenly dropped about 10,000 feet.

United Express Flight 5919 was traveling from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport when the plane experienced a sudden drop in altitude of about 10,000 feet, said Jeff Dutton, communications manager at the Indianapolis Airport Authority.

ExpressJet spokesman Jarek Beem said the crew brought the aircraft down to a lower altitude because of a pressurization issue. Fifty passengers, two pilots and one flight attendant were on board.

Passengers on the flight began complaining of headaches and ear problems, so the plane landed at Indianapolis International Airport about 7:30 a.m., Dutton said.

The passengers were checked out by medics at the airport, but no one was hospitalized.

The airline planned to bus the passengers to Chicago, Beem said.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the airplane was an Embraer E145. He said the FAA will follow up with the airport to determine the cause of the pressurization problem.