Monday, September 26, 2016

Spirit Airlines, Airbus A320-200, N602NK, Flight NK-943, incident occurred February 11, 2018 at Southwest Florida International Airport (KRSW), Lee County, Florida -and- Spirit Airlines, Airbus A320-200N, N902NK, Flight NK-517, incident occurred January 28, 2018 at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (KFLL), Broward County, Florida -and- Spirit Airlines, Airbus A320-200, N602NK, Incident occurred September 26, 2016 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (KBUF), New York

Spirit Airlines, Airbus A320-200N, N902NK

East Bay resident Josh Puga was returning from spending Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas when his Spirit Airlines flight suddenly started rattling and shaking violently, with a smell of burnt rubber, sending passengers and crew into a panic.

The plane, headed to Oakland International Airport, made a quick U-turn back to McCarran International Airport, Puga said, before it landed safely. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, saying the pilot shut down Engine No. 2 after experiencing a vibration.

The event left many on board upset, Puga said, but what really angered him was when he learned the next day that the same Spirit Airlines Airbus A321 had had another serious mechanical malfunction only a week earlier, when crew members got sick from what the FAA is calling a “fume incident.”

“There were some people really scared and ruined by this,” Puga said. “It just pissed me off that they seem to be blowing it off.”

The FAA says both incidents, while close in timing, were unrelated and “involve two completely separate systems.”

Stephen Schuler, Spirit Airlines spokesman, said the two events were “separate and unrelated.”

“The safety of our Guests and crew is our top priority at Spirit Airlines,” Schuler said.

On Jan. 28, the Spirit aircraft traveled from Akron to Fort Lauderdale when an “over-serviced” auxiliary power unit generated the fumes and led the crew to declare an emergency, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said. The auxiliary power unit is a gas turbine engine located in the rear of the plane that provides power for electricity, air conditioning and other functions while a plane is on the ground and main engines are off. The exhaust port for the unit is in the tail cone of the plane.

Kenitzer said the oil tank has a specific capacity and if exceeded, the surplus oil “needs a place to go.”

“A small amount may pass through the seals and into the exhaust system thus creating a fume event,” he said.

What type of fumes and where the fumes traveled is part of the agency’s ongoing investigation, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board must be notified if the crew cannot complete their official duties during a flight, but a spokesman said that did not happen in this incident.

“Several flight attendants were transported to the hospital but none were admitted,” NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said. “The pilots did not go to the hospital. No further investigation is planned.”

The Spirit Airlines spokesman said no passengers reported any issues during the fume incident, however some crew members were evaluated by a doctor.

According to the plane’s flight history, it landed at 1:28 p.m., and flew again shortly after 10 p.m. that night. It flew again the next day shortly after 6 p.m. and completed 32 flights between the the Jan. 28 incident and the Las Vegas engine trouble.

On Feb. 4, the aircraft experienced a vibration in the No. 2 engine and the pilot shut it down, Kenitzer said. What caused the incident is still under review.

Schuler, with Spirit Airlines, said the aircraft has been out of service since then, and the engine has been replaced.

“Some members of the crew were evaluated by a private doctor, but were not hospitalized,” he said.

B. Wilson, of San Ramon, was also on the Las Vegas flight with his fiance.

“People were crying. Someone said they thought the plane was going to crash. People got hysterical,” Wilson said. “I was assuming the worst and awaiting a free fall where the plane just started nose-diving.”

After returning to Las Vegas, Wilson and his fiance refused to get on another Spirit plane and spent the night with friends in the city before renting a car the next day and driving home.

“Nothing I experienced has been quite as scary as that,” he said.

After learning about the earlier engine malfunction on the same plane, Wilson said he planned to speak to an attorney.

“It makes me angry,” Wilson said. “What do they do to fix the problems? Do they have to have the plane crash?”

Original article can be found here ➤

BUFFALO, NY - 145 passengers on Spirit Airlines flight 647 are safe after the plane made an emergency landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport just after 2:30 Monday morning.

The Airbus A320 aircraft departed from Niagara Falls bound for Fort Lauderdale around 2 A.M. when it incurred a flame out on the number two engine. NFTA officials say after the flame out, which is similar to a car backfiring, the pilot shut down the engine and navigated the aircraft to BNIA. 

Passengers told 2 On Your Side that they heard a large boom, then saw sparks and fire from the right side engine. According to one passenger, the plane struggled to gain altitude after take-off and the right wing dipped slightly without power to the engine.

"We were actually the ones who told the flight attendants. They didn't know what was going on. We started panicking and freaking out, screaming and crying," a group of college students told us. 

"I thought we were going to die," a mother holding a newborn told us. She was traveling back to Florida after visiting Niagara Falls.

The plane was met by airport emergency responders on the runway but the plane was able to taxi to the terminal without assistance.

NFTA officials say no one was injured and Spirit Airlines will coordinate vouchers and flights for passengers.

According to passengers we spoke to, Spirit Airlines wouldn't be able to make up the flight until 1 A.M Tuesday morning.

Spirit Airlines sent WGRZ the following statement on Monday morning: 

Spirit Airlines flight 647 from Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) landed safely this morning at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) following a reported mechanical issue. Passengers were deplaned and our customer service agents are working to get them to their final destinations as quickly as possible. They are being placed in local hotels ahead of a replacement flight later today. There were 136 passengers and 6 crew on board and no injuries were reported. Mechanics conducted a full investigation of the plane, determining a compressor stall as the likely cause, but there was no damage or fire as indicated in some early media reports. We apologize for any inconvenience and we’ll be issuing future flight credits to all impacted customers. 

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