A plane that caused a commotion at the Trail Regional Airport in November is back in flight with a new engine.
Spencer Smith, vice president of commercial services for Pacific Coastal Airlines, said the cause of the Nov. 14 incident at the airport remains under investigation but the plane in question is back in service.
That night, passengers were in the middle of deplaning, when a person turned around and saw what he thought was fire and alerted the staff.
The flight crew immediately responded and deployed the fire suppression system.
Although the airline denied that there was a fire, the plane remained grounded at the airport until the end of November.
Smith explained that the airplane was parked because internal damage was found within the engine.
The plane, a 30 seat Saab 640A, had its engine replaced before being ferried back to Vancouver.
“We flew it back without passengers to our maintenance facility in Vancouver, and it is now back in air,” explained Smith.
Smith said that the engine is in the possession of the manufacturer and the cause of the internal damage is still under investigation.
Pacific Coastal has undergone a complex process to review the event, said Smith.
“I can assure you that we have had many meetings.”
The airline has a complex safety management system (SMS) that is mandated by its regulatory body at Transport Canada, he said
However, the public is not privy to the information discussed during the review of the SMS.
“In relation to the specifics, our process is done internally and is not something we can share with the public,” said Smith.
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) worked together with Pacific Coastal to ensure continuity of both SMS plans in response for any commercial aircraft event, said Bryan Teasdale, airport manager for the RDKB.
“So our roles and responsibilities of our respective staff are clearly identified during or for an event,” he added.