Another Alaska Airlines MD-80 incident on Monday : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The Associated Press Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2000; 1:35 a.m. EST

SAN FRANCISCO  Sparks were seen flying from an engine on an Alaska Airlines jetliner, moments after taking off from San Francisco International Airport, according to airline and airport officials.

The pilot declared an emergency in order to get first priority to land, said Alaska Airlines spokesman Jack Evans. The flight originated in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and was on-route to Seattle.

Fire trucks met the airplane after it landed safely about 7:45 p.m. PST Monday, said airport duty manager Chris Ludwell. No injuries were reported among the plane's 83 passengers and five crew members.

"It was a totally safe landing," said Ludwell. The sparks, which were seen by airline personnel on about three other aircraft and by San Francisco air-traffic controllers, did not cause any apparent problems within the aircraft, said Ludwell and Evans.

The circumstances of Monday's problems bore a resemblance to a disastrous Alaska Airlines flight a week ago, which killed all 88 people aboard in a crash off the California coast. Both planes had problems while on planned flight paths from Puerto Vallarta to Seattle, via San Francisco.

Both planes were part of the MD-80 series aircraft. The fatal flight was an MD-83; the flight Monday was an MD-80. Both were made by McDonnell Douglas, now owned by Boeing.

Investigators suspect a problem with the horizontal stabilizer  a part at the rear of the plane  caused the fatal crash. It was unclear what caused Monday's problems in the left engine of the plane, located in the tail area. Evans speculated that something, such as a bird, may have been sucked into the engine.

Pilots had no indication on their gauges that there was anything wrong with the engine, said Evans.

Passengers on Monday's flight 289 were put on another plane to Seattle. The plane stayed in San Francisco, where engineers examined it.

"The pilot would not have declared an emergency if not for air traffic control issues in San Francisco," said Evans. He said the MD-80-series aircraft and Alaska Airlines are safe.

"I think the thing that people need to keep in mind is that this aircraft is one of the safest aircraft ever built in the history of aviation," Evans said.

) Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

-- Coinkidink (pigs@re.flying), February 09, 2000


Crud in the fuel?

-- && (&&@&&.&), February 09, 2000.

Sheeeesh!! Too many coinkidinks to be anything except Y2K! Gaaawd, those computers are going bezerk just like we said they would. They really should have listened to us.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), February 09, 2000.


You're starting to sound like a Polly.... you know.... counting the chickens before the eggs come home :-)

-- Casper (c@no.yr), February 09, 2000.

Casper, do the eggs ever really come home? :-)

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), February 09, 2000.


Yup.. and they hatch, and grow, after a time.... just not yet.... :-)

-- Casper (c@no.yr), February 09, 2000.

It was a bird ingestion (what a term, eh!) into the engine. Happens several times a year at SFO as the place is covered with seagulls half the time. The bird causes a trail of sparks and flames for about five minutes after it's sucked into the engine. Most of the time the plane won't even come back unless someone else sees the sparks, which is what happened in this case.

-- Jim Cooke (, February 09, 2000.

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