News Plane incidents — 26 March 2017

A plane departing Montreal and bound for Shanghai with 213 passengers aboard was forced to make an emergency landing at Trudeau airport shortly after takeoff Saturday because of engine problems.

The plane landed safely with no injuries reported.

Flight AC017 Montreal-Shanghai had just departed at 1:31 p.m. when a warning light forced pilots to turn off one of two engines on the plane, a Boeing 787-Dreamliner, and turn back toward the airport while alerting emergency services. The crew dumped fuel on its way back to lighten the weight of the aircraft.

The plane landed safely, Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur said, and technicians are investigating the cause of the problem. Passengers were being rerouted to their destinations, she said.

Passenger Josh Jacobs tweeted photos of the plane off-loading fuel while in flight. Crew told passengers the problem was related to an engine failure.

“Professional response by crew,” he writes in one tweet.

After landing, he wrote: “Somebody get me a poutine and a Molsons.”

Contacted by the Montreal Gazette, Jacobs said passengers heard “two or three loud bangs,” coming from the right side of the airplane just after the plane left the runway.

“It was clear we weren’t having a normal ascent,” he said.

The plane levelled off, and the pilot came on the intercom to advise passengers the aircraft was having engine troubles and would be returning to Montreal, after it dumped fuel. The flight crew was professional and in control, which helped to calm passengers, Jacobs said.

It took about an hour for the plane to return to the airport. Air Canada arranged for another flight to leave at 9:30 p.m., or passengers had the option of staying in a hotel and flying out on Sunday. Jacobs opted to fly out Saturday night.

“I was just glad when the plane levelled out,” Jacobs said. “Before that there was a lot of uncertainty.”

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