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Propeller failure forces emergency landing in Castlegar

Castlegar fire Chief Gerry Rempel (standing on the tarmac) watches as passengers exit an Air Canada plane that suffered a propeller failure at the West Kootenay Regional Airport on Friday. The propeller failure happened shortly after the Calgary-bound flight took off, prompting the plane to return to Castlegar. - Robson Fletcher photo
Castlegar fire Chief Gerry Rempel (standing on the tarmac) watches as passengers exit an Air Canada plane that suffered a propeller failure at the West Kootenay Regional Airport on Friday. The propeller failure happened shortly after the Calgary-bound flight took off, prompting the plane to return to Castlegar.
— image credit: Robson Fletcher photo

An Air Canada plane was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing shortly after leaving Castlegar on Friday after one of its two propellers failed.

The Calgary-bound flight was only about five minutes into the air when passenger Sharlene Ereth realized something might be wrong.

"We took off and I just happened to look out the window and I noticed that the propeller wasn't going," she said after the plane had landed safely back in Castlegar.

Ereth said she wasn't sure if the propeller was supposed to be turning at that point, but once the pilot came on and told passengers they'd be returning to Castlegar she realized the situation was serious.

"Then I got scared," she said. "I turned my phone on right away and texted my fiance ... he thought I was kidding."

Despite some tense moments on the flight, Ereth said there was never any panic.

"Everybody was kind of laughing and joking," she said. "The pilot kept everybody calm and kind of made it seem like it wasn't a big deal."

Police, fire and ambulance officials were notified that the flight would be returning to Castlegar and raced to the airport to be there when it landed.

None of the 22 passengers or three crew members on the flight was injured, according to Castlegar fire Chief Gerry Rempel.

Flight Scare

An airport security guard stands in the foreground while police talk with airline officials in the background after an Air Canada flight returned to Castlegar on Friday following a propeller failure.

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