TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State coach Todd Graham appeared to still be a bit shaken after a plane he was riding in with his son during a recruiting trip over the weekend plummeted about 25,000 feet before leveling off and making an emergency landing.
"It was really kind of surreal," Graham said on Monday. "It was very, very scary."
Graham and his son Bo, Arizona State's running backs coach, were flying to Dallas to watch a recruit play when they were startled by a loud noise as their small plane hit 35,000 feet.
Father and son awoke to find the plane shaking, sirens going off and the pilots putting on their oxygen masks. Not long after, father and son put their oxygen masks on, the plane went into a dive as the pilots tried to control it.
"They were working pretty frantically to stabilize it," he said.
With the plane still descending and the Grahams not sure of what was happening, Todd Graham climbed out of his seat and went to the cockpit.
"There weren't saying anything. I got up out of my chair about halfway through and grabbed the guy by the shoulder, asked him if the engines were still on," he said. "He looked at me kind of startled, like why was I out of my chair, but I kind of have a problem with control. He looked at me and said, 'Yes, the engines are still on, go back and sit down.'"
Graham did go back to his seat, and the plane, which had depressurized, leveled off around 10,000 feet. The pilots were able to make an emergency landing at an airport in Albuquerque, N.M.
Todd and Bo Graham spent a few hours there before another plane arrived to take them to Dallas. They made it just before kickoff of the recruit's game and had an uneventful return flight.
"The thing that most scared me was being with my son," Todd Graham said. "I guess things that happen. Not much to say other than I'm happy to be here."