Flight from Vancouver makes unexpected stop
Last updated Jun 16 2006 11:05 AM PDT
A Northwest Airlines jet en route from Vancouver to Minneapolis made an unscheduled landing in southwestern Montana Thursday night after the pilots smelled something burning.
The Airbus 319 landed safely at the Gallatin Field Airport in Bozeman, Mont., which has a 9,000-foot runway.
There were 29 people on board, including the two pilots and three flight attendants.
The passengers were put up in local motels, and continued on to Minneapolis on another flight on Friday morning, said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch.
There's no word on what caused the burning smell. But Ebenhoch said the plane has been repaired and has also returned to its home base in Minneapolis on Friday.
In September 1998, a Swissair MD-11 on a flight from New York to Geneva with 229 people aboard crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia after smoke was smelled in the cockpit. No one survived.
The pilots had begun to divert to Halifax, but delayed their landing to dump fuel over the ocean, and the plane crashed about 20 minutes after the smoke was first detected.
Investigators concluded that the fire that led to the disaster began with a short circuit in the cockpit's ceiling. The spark ignited insulation and the fire spread rapidly, affecting the guidance system.
Since then, the type of insulation material found in the Swissair jet has been banned by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
Airlines have also revamped their emergency checklists and procedures to eliminate delays in landing aircraft in the event of a burning odour or smoke.
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