KELOWNA – An Edmonton bound WestJet flight slid off the apron as it left the Kelowna airport terminal around 8 o’clock Monday morning.
The apron is the area of an airport where aircraft are parked, loaded or unloaded and refueled.
The 134 passengers and six member crew of WestJet flight 150 have been taken off the plane and will be booked onto later flights. There were no reported injuries.
“It was a good bump,” says Roy Ollenberger, a passenger on flight 150. “It was pretty interesting.”
“We got delayed like 45 minutes, and I fell asleep,” explains Douglas Yacyshyn, a fellow passenger. “I felt a bump, and I thought we landed in Edmonton, but we ended up being stuck on the runway.”
The plane itself will have to be removed from the taxiway and inspected before it can resume flight service.
“WestJet did a pretty good job keeping everyone calm, and explaining what was going on while we were sitting there waiting to off-load the plane,” adds Ollenberger.
“Hopefully, we can get out of here tomorrow,” adds Yacyshyn. “I don’t know, there’s a lot of people stuck here.”
Shortly after the WestJet incident the runway at Kelowna Airport has been closed due to heavy snow and low visibility.
Later Monday morning, WestJet released the following written statement:
“At approximately 7:58 am today, WestJet flight 150 was departing the main apron at gate 7 in Kelowna, bound for Edmonton, when the nose wheel and the two main gear wheels on the right side of the aircraft slid off the apron. There were no injuries and guests were offloaded and taken back to the airport terminal to be reaccommodated on other flights and/or in hotels for the night.
The aircraft involved is a Boeing 737-700 Next Generation series, and there were 134 guests plus six crew members on board. The aircraft will undergo a maintenance check to determine if any damage occurred.
Over the last couple of hours, Kelowna airport has had short intermittent closures of the runway due to heavy snowfall and limited visibility, and the airport is experiencing some delayed and cancelled flights. Due to the snowstorm, four other WestJet flights to/from Kelowna have been cancelled. Guests flying to/from Kelowna today are asked to check the status of their flights at http://fly.ws/wsFlight prior to coming to the airport.”
WestJet is also updating the situation on its Facebook page.
More to come…