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Edmonton-bound plane makes safe, emergency landing in Kelowna shortly after takeoff

A WestJet airlines passenger plane. On Thursday, WestJet flight 3239 left Kelowna just after 12:30 p.m., bound for Edmonton, but did not get far before circling a few times and returning to the airport.
A WestJet airlines passenger plane. On Thursday, WestJet flight 3239 left Kelowna just after 12:30 p.m., bound for Edmonton, but did not get far before circling a few times and returning to the airport. The Canadian Press

A plane bound for Edmonton during the lunch hour Thursday had to quickly return to Kelowna because of mechanical issues, making a safe emergency landing.

WestJet flight 3239 left YLW just after 12:30 p.m., but did not get far before circling a few times and returning to the airport at 12:59 p.m.

A press release from the City of Kelowna called the plane’s problems mechanical issues, later adding that it was landing-gear related.

A view of WestJet flight 3239 and its circling path after taking off from Kelowna shortly after 12:30 p.m., on Thursday.
A view of WestJet flight 3239 and its circling path after taking off from Kelowna shortly after 12:30 p.m., on Thursday. Flight Aware

The city said the flight advised the air traffic control tower that a mechanical issue had occurred, resulting in a return to the airport.

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Emergency response teams were on standby while the plane circled above Kelowna a few times — to burn off fuel, according to the city — before landing.

READ MORE: Swoop flight to Edmonton makes emergency landing at Abbotsford airport

Emergency crews said everybody got off the plane safely.

The city said the unexpected landing did not disrupt YLW’s schedule.

In an email to Global News, WestJet confirmed the mechanical issue just after 3 p.m., stating the “air turnback” was “related to the closure of its landing gear doors.”

“The aircraft landed safely in Kelowna and is currently undergoing a required maintenance inspection on the ground and has subsequently been removed from service for the remainder of the day,” WestJet said.

WestJet added it apologized for the flight interruption, and that all 63 guests are being re-accommodated throughout the remainder of the day on the next available flights.

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