ST. PETERSBURG — An Allegiant Air flight that made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff Thursday at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is the same plane that made an emergency landing at the same airport less than 24 hours earlier.
"Our mechanics and operations team are currently conducting a thorough review and report of the incidents, but we are not able to confirm the root cause at this time," Allegiant said in an email that confirmed that the same plane was involved in both incidents.
Allegiant would not say if the aircraft, an Airbus 320 that was manufactured in 1997, suffered the same mechanical problem on both days. But firefighters at the airport said in a radio transmission that it was the same mechanical issue both days.
Flight 844 to New Windsor, N.Y., departed the airport at 7:27 a.m. Thursday, the company said in statement. At 7:58 a.m., the crew discovered an unspecified mechanical problem and decided to return to the airport, according to the airline.
About 8:30 a.m., the flight tracking website FlightAware showed the plane circling over the Gulf of Mexico.
More than a dozen emergency vehicles were in position at the north end of the runway awaiting the plane's arrival. The plane appeared to land without any problems and two vehicles sped toward it as it moved toward the south end of the runway.
The plane turned and taxied under its own power to the airport terminal. Shortly afterward, ambulances and fire trucks left the scene.
The plane landed shortly before 9 a.m. It was carrying 165 passengers and six crew members, according to Allegiant.
The same plane arriving from Moline, Ill., made the emergency landing on Wednesday at 12:19 p.m. at St. Pete-Clearwater, its scheduled destination. The airline also did not identify the mechanical issue on that flight.
Within half an hour after landing, passengers on the Thursday were sent directly to another plane for boarding, a Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy told news crews at the scene.
Annamaria Accetta of Tampa had family aboard and learned of the problem while scrolling through Facebook during a break at work. She couldn't reach Allegiant so she drove to the airport.
When the plane landed, Accetta talked to her 11-year-old son and 70-year-old mother on the phone for about five minutes. She told Allegiant representatives there she wanted to see her son, Tommas, who was crying hysterically, she said. But the airline didn't permit her to see him before he boarded the other plane, she said.
"I think I'm about to have a heart attack," Accetta said at the airport. "I'm still shaking."
Her friend, Melinda Kebreau, went with Accetta to the airport Thursday.
"She has every right and every other customer had every right to be very nervous about their loved ones on the plane," Kebreau of Tampa said. "To let her not even see her 11-year-old who is frantic back there somewhere crying. He just wants his mother."
In a statement released about 9:15 a.m., Allegiant said, "The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and our primary focus is accommodating any immediate needs they may have. Our mechanics will do a thorough investigation of the aircraft to diagnosis and repair the issue."
Allegiant is under review by the Federal Aviation Administration after a series of issues in the last year with maintenance and safety.
Another Allegiant flight made an emergency landing at the local airport on Wednesday, according to a NewsChannel 8 report.
In 2015, airport records show, Allegiant carried about 95 percent of St. Pete-Clearwater's 1.6 million passengers.
Original article can be found here: http://www.tampabay.com
An Allegiant Air flight from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport lands safely, with emergency personnel close by, after turning around after experiencing a mechanical issue shortly after takeoff on Thursday. Flight 844 to Stewart International Airport departed the airport at 7:27 a.m., the company said in statement.
The flight tracking website FlightAware showed the plane circling over the Gulf of Mexico and then returning for an emergency landing.
STEWART AIRPORT - Passengers arriving on the continuation of Allegiant Air Flight 844 Thursday told a harrowing tale of circling the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport in Florida for about 90 minutes while the crew burned off fuel to prepare for an emergency landing.
Lisa Cozzolino of New Paltz, who was traveling with her sister, Carrie Wilson of Center Valley, Pa., said they were about 30 minutes into the flight when the pilot came on the PA system and told them the plane was experiencing a hydraulic problem and they would have to get the fuel level down to what he called an acceptable level before they could bring the plane down.
"I was nervous the whole time," Cozzolino said. "I was taking tranquilizers."
Wilson said they could see fire trucks on the ground below as they finally returned to St. Petersburg-Clearwater. "I said 'that's not good,' " Wilson said.
Derrick Pierce, a former Middletown resident who was returning to visit family, was on the plane with his 2-year-old son, Dalton. He managed to keep Dalton calm as the plane kept circling over land and water. Finally, Pierce said, the plane landed.
"I was so happy to be back on the ground." he said.
The plane had taken off about 7:30 a.m. It was back on the ground shortly after 9 a.m. The 165 passengers got on a different plane about an hour and a half later and they landed at Stewart International Airport about 1:15 p.m.
A crowd of worried relatives and friends was waiting.
"I was so nervous," said Cynthia Zeno of Montgomery, who was waiting anxiously for a group of relatives to arrive on the plane.
"I was scared," said Haddy Sanchez, Zeno's sister-in-law, who was on the plane. "I was dizzy the whole time."
“The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority,” Allegiant said ina statement. “Our mechanics will do a thorough investigation of the aircraft to diagnose and repair the issue.”
ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Passengers on an Allegiant Airlines flight from Moline, Illinois to St. Pete-Clearwater airport did not expect their plane would be emergency-landed on Wednesday - but it was.
Flight 871 was towed into the gate after making an emergency landing around 12:30 p.m.
Around 140 people were onboard when the plane had a mechanical issue.
Allegiant spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler told FOX 13 News St. Pete-Clearwater was already the nearest airport when pilots had to land the plane.
Airport crews took extra precautions - including dispatching local fire engines to the runway - as an extra precaution for the emergency landing.
"Our mechanics are doing a full investigation and inspection to diagnose and repair the issue," Allegiant Airlines said in a statement.
The airline has had a series of mechanical issues and emergency landings in the past year. WESH-TV reports a Monday flight from Orlando to North Carolina was forced to turn back to the airport because of a number of issues, including electrical problems.
“I was assuming, as soon as I heard that they had those issues, that my flight would have been safer,” said Allegiant passenger Tina Gatt at St. Pete-Clearwater airport on Wednesday. “But hearing the plane that landed just before us kind of does concern me.”
The FAA started a review of the airline in April – two years ahead of schedule – because of the ongoing flight issues. The report could be released as early as next month.
The problems used some delays while crews found another plane for an outbound flight. Flight 890, a St. Petersburg to Fort Wayne, Indiana flight scheduled to depart before 2 pm was delayed by several hours. Flight 891, a Fort Wayne to St. Petersburg flight scheduled to arrive tonight will also be delayed.
Story and video: http://www.fox13news.com
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An Allegiant Air plane arriving at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport made an emergency landing Wednesday.
Flight 871 traveled from Moline, IL to Pinellas County. It landed at 12:19 p.m., an Allegiant spokesperson said. The spokesperson said the emergency landing was made because of a mechanical issue.
“The aircraft landed safely and was towed to the gate where passengers disembarked the aircraft,” the spokesperson said. “The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and we are working to ensure any immediate passenger and crew needs are accommodated.”
Allegiant is investigating and inspecting the plane to repair the problem, officials said.
Original article can be found here: http://wfla.com
An Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Wednesday after suffering a mechanical problem, according to WFLA-Ch. 8.
An Allegiant spokesperson confirmed for the station that Flight 871 from Moline, Ill., made the emergency landing at the Pinellas County airport, its scheduled destination, at 12:19 p.m. The airline apparently did not identify the nature of the mechanical issue that caused the emergency nor say how many passengers and crew were aboard.
The airline told WFLA that the plane landed safety and that it is investigating the mechanical problem.
Allegiant officials did not respond to requests for comment.
The Las Vegas headquartered airline has encountered a series of emergency landings and other maintenance issues during the last year and has been accused by its pilots' union of skimping on safety. The airline denies doing so and says Allegiant is one of the safest airlines in the nation.
The airline carries about 95 percent of the passenger traffic at the St. Pete-Clearwater airport, which reported a record 1.6 million passengers in 2015.