Flight Problems Continue At Transwest Air

Thursday, June 07, 2007 at 15:15



Transport Canada officials are confident a series of emergency situations involving Transwest Air aircraft in the last month are not related.


Spokesperson Kate Fletcher says even though a third incident has just come to light, her organization doesn’t believe it’s evidence of a systemic problem at the airline.


Passengers on a flight from La Ronge to Stony Rapids on June 1st were forced to return to the runway after an equipment failure.


Transwest Air managing partner Jim Glass explains the Saab 340 left La Ronge for Stony Rapids, but the hydraulic system wouldn’t pressurize properly — so the pilot turned back to the runway to let the passengers onto another plane.


Glass says the part was replaced and the plane was flying the next day.


He says the situation was relatively minor and was clearly a case of faulty equipment.


The hydraulic failure is the latest mishap in the last month for the company.


On May 23rd, a plane headed south from Stony Rapids was forced to return to the runway after a light came on in the cockpit.


Thirteen days before that, another plane arriving in Stony Rapids experienced engine difficulty after it had landed.


Glass says he’s not worried by the close proximity of the incidents, and insists they are clearly unrelated.


He says he understands the episodes may have upset some passengers, but he stresses maintenance procedures at the airline are not the issue.


Glass says the incidents in question are minor when you consider the three planes do about 15,000 takeoffs and landings each year.