Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 5:57 PM on Monday, September 24, 2012

Era flight lands safely after engine shut down



Era Aviation flight 889 from Kodiak to Anchorage sits on the tarmac at Homer Airport after making an emergency landing when the pilot shut down the right engine on the Dash 8 after it overheated. All 28 passengers and three crew made it safely to Homer.

An Era Aviation flight from Kodiak to Anchorage made an emergency landing in Homer today after the pilot shut down an overheating engine. Flight 889, a Dash 88 two-engine propeller plane, landing safely at the Homer Airport at about 12:15 p.m.

"We wanted to get to Homer, but not this way," said Peggy Chapple of Homer, returning with her two grandchildren, Owen and Kyla Pitzman, and her sister, Diane Griffin.

Flight 889, carrying 28 passengers, two pilots and a flight attendant, left Kodiak at 11:28 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Anchorage about 12:25 p.m. Steve Smith, director of sales and marketing for Era, said the pilot noticed a high temperature on an engine and shut it down as a precautionary measure. The pilot then diverted to Homer and landed safely.

"He did an excellent job," passenger Angela Bowling of Kodiak said of the pilot and the landing.

Chapple said they were about 15 minutes out of Kodiak when looked out the window at the engine on the right side.

"The next thing I know, I'm watching the propeller stop," she said. "'Why are they shutting down the engine?'" Chapple said she wondered.

Kyla Pitzman said the flight was just beyond Homer when it turned around. Chapple said she didn't know exactly where they were.

"I was too busy praying," she said.

Smith said the passengers would be accommodated on other Era flights. Era mechanics are inspecting the engine, he said. National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson said Era reported the incident to the NTSB, although it's not mandatory to report such incidents.

"They did it to be on the safe side," Johnson said.

In prior such incidents Era has forwarded the results of its investigation and usually no action is needed by the NTSB, he said.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.