Jet emergency lands after power outage

Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2007

An electrical malfunction brought an Alaskan Airlines jet into Juneau International Airport for an emergency landing shortly after 7:23 p.m. Friday night, though no injuries were reported.

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The incident was a precautionary landing, according to Amanda Tobin Bielawski, spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines.

"It impacted tools on the flight deck," she said.

Alaska flight 96 had left Anchorage for Seattle with 140 people onboard.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said an electrical outage in the primary avionics system caused the Boeing 737-400 to land. The failed system controlled the airplane's communications and navigation equipment, including the autopilot and the flight management system.

Using a backup system, the plane landed without incident, Kenitzer said.

A crew of about 35 firefighters and rescue workers from Capital City Fire and Rescue responded, ready to douse any flames or treat injuries. But the aircraft landed safely.

A maintenance crew grounded the Alaska jet overnight.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience to passengers, but safety is a high priority," Bielawski said.

About half of the passengers were rebooked on an Alaska flight heading for Seattle late Friday night, Bielawski said. About 70 passengers spent Friday night in Juneau hotels arranged by the airline.

Alaska Airlines seated the remaining passengers on two separate Seattle flights Saturday morning.

The troubled aircraft returned to service sometime Saturday, Bielawski said.

• Greg Skinner can be reached at greg.skinner@juneauempire.com.



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