An Era Aviation flight scheduled from Kodiak to Anchorage made an emergency landing in Homer Monday morning after one of its two engines showed signs of overheating north of the Barren Islands.
The Era captain observed a high temperature on the gauge to one of the engines and made the decision, as a precautionary move, to shut down the engine and divert to the airport, said Era Aviation spokesman Steve Smith. “It landed safely in Homer and all passengers are being accommodated on other flights.”
It was undergoing inspection Monday afternoon to determine the cause of the over-heating engine, Smith said. The Dash 8 on flight 889 landed at 12:15 p.m. Monday.
Homer resident Peggy Chapple, traveling from Kodiak with her sister and two grandchildren, said the last segment of the flight prior to landing was a frightening experience. She didn’t know the details of what was happening, but felt the plane plummet briefly in a loss of altitude.
“I was praying a lot. The engine shut down, and we lost altitude. I’m still shaking,” she said after descending from the plane Monday morning. This was the fourth flight booked for the Chapples after others were cancelled.
“My grandson was excited, but I knew better than to be excited,” she said.
Flights to and from Kodiak were cancelled over the weekend due to socked in heavy fog and rains. The Homer Mariner Football team made a flight attempt that turned back, then successfully made it in for Monday night’s game.
Regional Director of the National Transportation Safety Board, Clint Johnson, said the high oil temperature was the primary problem.
“As a precaution, they shut the engine down and landed uneventfully without incident,” Johnson said. “We have a good communication line with the company. This isn’t an incident that is required reporting under the regulations, but they let us know. What we’ll do from this point is keep in contact and find out the reason for the high oil temperature.”
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