Emergency landing at Duluth Airport alarms passengers -- 'These feet are never leaving the ground again.'
An Allegiant Air flight from Duluth to Las Vegas made an emergency landing at Duluth International Airport Friday night after experiencing trouble with one of the engines.
The plane landed safely just before 9 p.m. with National Guard firefighters and other emergency responders standing by, according to Brian Ryks, executive director of the Duluth Airport Authority.
There were no reported injuries.
The engine failed about 50 miles into the trip and the crew shut down one of the engines, declared the emergency and headed back to the airport.
Passengers described hearing a loud noise about 15 minutes into the flight.
"It was a really loud bang," said Lisa Clements of Chisholm, who was sitting by the engine with her 8- and 9-year-old daughters. "We just told them it was OK."
Earlier in the flight, the girls had been disappointed that their window view was obstructed by the engine.
After the bang, passengers said flight attendants told them to stand by.
"There was silence for a while," said passenger Bob Hollenhorst. "Then the pilot came on and said there was a problem with the engine."
The pilot earned kudos from the passengers.
"He did a good job of bringing it in," said Eric Wood of Thunder Bay, who was headed to Las Vegas for the first time with friends for a bachelor party.
"Everyone clapped when the pilot landed," said Ruth Westra, who planned to go to Zion National Park to watch the eclipse.
There were about 141 passengers and five crew members on board, according to Ryks. They deplaned and gathered outside and near the Allegiant Air terminal to wait for more information.
Ryks said Allegiant is working to get another flight scheduled, maybe early today.
The last similar incident was in 2006 when a DC-10 with about 250 passengers from Minneapolis bound for London made an emergency landing in Duluth after a report of smoke in the cabin. The jet landed without incident.
"It doesn't happen often," Ryks said. "This is the first time that a scheduled aircraft departing Duluth has had this kind of an incident since I've been in Duluth, about 10 years."
At least one passenger decided to make alternative travel plans.
"These feet are never leaving the ground again," said Tim Wagner of Fish Lake. "I'll drive there myself."