Emergency landing twice

Alanna Kelly

Flair Airline passengers were stuck at Kelowna International Airport for over eight hours on Sunday.

Passengers boarded and took off in a plane not once, but twice and each time had to make an emergency landing.

Jules Rempel, Director Communications and Marketing for Flair Airlines said the landing gear system was never jeopardized, but that the issue was because a safety interlock that did not release after lift off.

“This is a safety system that prevents the gear from ever coming up when it is on the ground,” she said.

The safety system prevents the landing gear from retracting while on the ground, but once the plane was in the air it stayed out.

“The sensor thought it was on the ground and would not retract once it was on the ground,” she said.

Crews investigated and thought the issue was an “on-time thing” and all of the checks were approved.

“When they went for the second time there was an interlock cable that had been adjusted on the edge,” she said.

Numerous passengers took to Twitter saying the entire experience was horrible and a man was even escorted out of the airport.

“Our number one intention is to always get our passengers safely to their next destination and in an on-time manner. Unfortunately the on-time piece of the puzzle did not happen yesterday,” she said.

“We apologize for that. We worked diligently that we could get them on their way although delayed,” said Rempel.

Another aircraft was called to YLW from Edmonton and passengers left Kelowna just before 10 p.m.

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