WestJet Kamloops to Calgary flight diverted to Kelowna due to engine failure

Flight forced to land at YLW

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.

WestJet says 75 guests were on board Encore flight 3252 its Kamloops to Calgary flight this afternoon.

The airline said crews followed standard safety procedures when the “mechanical issue” arose and the flight was diverted to land in Kelowna.

“Efforts are currently underway to reaccommodate all guests on the next available flight to Calgary,” WestJet said in a statement.

“We sincerely apologize to our guests for this inconvenience the diversion has caused and appreciate their patience and understanding as we worked to get them on their way as soon as possible.”

Cindy White

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.

A WestJet Bombardier Dash 8 - Q400, travelling eastbound from Kamloops to Calgary landed safely after being diverted to Kelowna International Airport with an engine failure.

Senior manager of airport operations Philip Elchitz tells Castanet, "it is our understanding it was an engine out, was what the mechanical issue was, but these aircraft are designed to fly on one engine."

Elchitz says the plane will now undergo repairs in Kelowna and the passengers will be redirected to Calgary by WestJet.

"The WestJet team will make arrangements for them to get to their destination," Elchitz says and he is very pleased with the outcome and the performance of the emergency response teams.

"We refer to it as a standby. The bulk of the YLW aircraft rescue firefighting team and the Kelowna Fire Department responded. [They] practice these scenarios on a regular basis, so they responded exactly as expected.

"This is why we practice this on a regular basis to be able to handle situations like this and it rolled out exactly as we train for," says Elchitz.

The plane ran into problems at approximately 3:40 p.m. and landed with one engine at YLW at 4:25 p.m.

Video captured by nearby residents shows the plane landing with one engine locked up and some charring. The engine fire was out by the time the plane landed.

ORIGINAL 4:29 p.m.

A WestJet Encore aircraft, Bombardier Dash 8 - Q400, travelling eastbound from Kamloops to Calgary has been diverted to Kelowna International Airport with an engine fire.

The plane ran into problems at approximately 3:40 p.m. said Philip Elchitz, senior manager of airport operations for Kelowna International Airport.

"We were notified of a mechanical issue on a commercial flight and the flight is being diverted to YLW. So, we have activated our emergency response procedures."

The plane landed safely in Kelowna at around 4:25 p.m.

"The only the information we have right now is that the aircraft has is in stable flight. And it's getting set up to land," Elchitz told Castanet while the plane was still in the air.

Elchitz said he could provide more details after the plane landed.

YLW prepares for emergencies of this nature and Kelowna fire crews, RCMP and paramedics are all on scene at YLW.

"We initiate our emergency plan and our aircraft rescue firefighters set up for this type of scenario. And then we have backup with qualified departments on scene as well," says Elchitz.

Castanet has requested information from WestJet.

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