Passengers on board a First Air flight from Hay River to Yellowknife were evacuated on the runway at Yellowknife Airport after the onboard crew declared an emergency last week.
According to flight records, there was smoke emitting from one of the engines that the air conditioning system then circulated throughout most of the cabin during the March 15 flight.
What was later discovered to be an oil leak from the engine, was initially mistaken for the scent of the de-icing fluid put on wings prior to takeoff.
The grounded flight was met with emergency crews on the runway, however, despite the smoke, there was no sign of any flame.
Steve Loutit, manager of the Yellowknife Airport, said the emergency procedure was “strictly for precaution.”
Although the passengers had to bus to the terminal, there was no significant delays at the airport.
“There was no impact on other flights,” Loutit said, as the airport has another runway .
This marks the second incident involving a First Air flight in recent months, however Chris Ferris, First Air’s VP of marketing and sales, believes there is nothing to worry about.
“They are mechanical and maintenance issues; they are unrelated, however, we are being a little more cautious for checks and services.”
The airplane will be grounded while the airline replaces the problematic engine.