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Engine fire grounds Allegiant Air flight in Roanoke

UPDATED: Passenger describes the Aborted Takeoff

August 12, 2010|Justin McLeod | Reporter

ROANOKE, Va — UPDATED 4:30 P.M.

An airport spokesperson tells News 7 the FAA is coming in tonight to inspect the plane.  The plane will not leave the airport until it is safe.  We are now being told the fire department did see flames coming out of the engine.  Several passengers have told News 7 a similar story.  They heard a loud boom and assumed a tire blew.  An airport spokesperson says the new flight may take off as early as 6:30 tonight.

UPDATED 2:50 P.M.

An Allegiant Airline Spokesperson says the captain saw smoke in the right engine.  He immediately turned off the engine and called the fire department.  The engines are located in the back of the plane.  Passengers were able to depart safely in the front of the plane.  The crew did not notice any flames coming from the engine.

Allegiant is sending a new plane from Orlando.  It is scheduled to arrive at 6:25 P.M. and take off around seven.  It is scheduled to arrive in Orlando around 9:30.  Passengers are being treated to free pizza while they wait.  A spokesperson says passengers will be given a 75 dollar off voucher for a future flight.  Allegiant says all of the passengers have agreed to board the next flight.

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Allegiant says smoke in the engine is unusual for its planes.  A spokesperson says Allegiant will send mechanics to Roanoke to check out the plane.  The plane will stay in Roanoke.  The airline says it does NOT have to contact the NTSB. 

UPDATED 2:40 P.M.

A passenger tells News 7 Allegiant Airlines is sending a new plane.  It is scheduled to arrive at 5:45 in Roanoke.  The hope is to take off at 6:15 P.M. to Orlando.

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UPDATED 2:30 P.M.

Passenger Joe Scartelli was on the flight.  He tells News 7 the plane was taxing down the runway when they heard a loud boom.  He assumed a tire blew.  A few moments later, the pilot came on over the intercom and told the passengers there was an engine abnormality.

Scartelli says while they were returning to the gate they could see smoke outside the plane.  Two fire engines responded to foam the plane.  Scartelli says passengers were calm during the whole ordeal.  Scartelli is a News 7 employee.

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An Allegiant Airline flight from Roanoke to Orlando had to abort take off.  It happened around one o'clock this afternoon at the Roanoke Regional Airport.  An airport spokesperson says the Allegiant Airline flight had engine problems while trying to take off.  The pilot aborted the take-off and returned to the gate.  The airport's fire department responded and put foam on the engines.

An airport spokesperson says it is too early to say whether the engines actually caught fire.  The 100 or so passengers safely departed the plane.  It is unclear at this point what Allegiant will do for those passengers.

Right now, Runway 24 is closed.  The Airport says it is not causing major delays right now.

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