News Plane incidents — 21 September 2017

A Delta flight heading from Detroit to Rochester, New York, made an emergency landing Thursday at Erie International Airport.

The Canadair CRJ200, Flight DL4906, landed smoothly around 11:15 a.m. without incident at the airport, 4411 W. 12th St., in Millcreek Township.

There were 34 passengers aboard with three crew members. The pilot of the Delta commuter jet operated by SkyWest told airport Police Chief Chris Karotko that he began burning fuel around 40 miles out from the Erie International Airport after an indicator light came on suggesting that one of the engine’s reverse thrusters had deployed.

Reverse thrusters, when activated, decelerate an aircraft by acting against its forward motion.

Fuel was burned to ensure a lighter, safer landing.

The problem was with a sensor, not one of the engines. The reverse thrusters had not deployed. Both engines remained on until the pilot could land the plane safely.

A mechanic was headed to the airport around noon to fix the sensor, Karotko said. All but a few passengers remained on the plane at the airport terminal. An airport official said the plane would resume its flight to Rochester once the problem was corrected.

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“We dispatched …West Lake, Lake Shore, West Ridge, MPS (Millcreek Paramedic Services), EmergyCare,” Karotko said. “We had everybody staged at different locations on the airport property. We did watch the plane land on runway 24, they landed safely, taxied and pulled up to the jet bridge. I spoke to the pilot and there was no issue they needed us for.”

A few passengers exited the plane to rent cars to complete their trips.

“It was nothing,” said passenger Jeremy Smith, 42, of Rochester, who was on a connecting flight home after a trip to Burlington, Vermont. “They just said there was a maintenance issue and landed the plane. That was it. Nothing to it. I think I did see a flight attendant do the sign of the cross. But it was so smooth.”

Airport Executive Director George Doughty said it is not uncommon for indicator lights to activate during flight, prompting pilots to land for precautionary reasons. However, it is the first time in at least a year it has happened to a commercial operator at Erie International Airport, Doughty said.

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