Winds make bumpy rides, delays at DIA

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DENVER -- High winds caused high drama in the skies and flight delays on the ground at DIA Friday.

About 10 percent of flights in and out of DIA were either delayed or cancelled because of the dangerous conditions.

Sustained winds clocked in at 20 mph, with wind gusts up to 30 mph.

They took their toll on aircraft as they rocked back and forth in the sky, even led to some hard landings, but no hard feelings really.

"It was a great flight until we got to Denver. Then it was up and down, up and down. It was so cute when we landed the flight attendants went, 'Whoo! Welcome to Denver," said Jennifer Villano, whose flight from Seattle was delayed about two hours.

But a Facebook post by Eric Miller shows an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Denver "was absolutely the worst, most turbulent flight I've ever been on. I boarded knowing it would be bumpy after the flight was delayed 3 hours due to, as they put it, "dangerous wind conditions in Denver," but my god! People were even crying during the flight."

"I've been there where it's dropped and its scary sometimes. But, no problem. I don't mind holding off than taking a chance," says Pam Lagoni, whose flight from Orange County was delayed two hours.

Rough rides in the skies mean moderate delays on the ground--an average of one-hour-and-a-half--after the Federal Aviation Administration puts its Traffic Management Program in place.

"What the FAA has done is basically hold aircraft at airports coming into the Denver area for a little bit longer on the ground. That gives aircraft time to space out in the air and that's what causes some of the delays," says DIA spokesman Heath Montgomery.

But by 5 p.m. the FAA lifts this flight restriction after winds die down considerably.

Still, some delays remain.

The airport suggests checking your flight status at www.flydenver.com.

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