Allegiant plane makes multiple emergency landings in 2 days

Allegiant flight appears to have landed safely at St. Pete-Clearwater airport

Two days brought two flights and a repeated mechanical failure with an Allegiant Airlines airbus 320 aircraft.

On Wednesday Allegiant Flight 871, scheduled for service from Moline, IL to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport: Home, was forced to make an emergency landing when the flight crew found a leak in the hydraulic system.

A statement from Allegiant says, “After full inspection of the aircraft and crew reports, the emergency landing was determined to be caused by a leak in a hydraulic system line. The line was replaced and tested for airworthiness in accordance with manufacturer requirements.”

Thursday the same airbus took off as Allegiant flight 844, and the flight crew noticed another problem.

Allegiant issued another statement. It reads:

“After conducting a review and interviews with our crew and operations teams, we have made a preliminary determination of the cause of the emergency landing of flight 844 on Thursday, June 2, 2016. Shortly after takeoff, the crew observed a slight drop in the hydraulic fluid quantity level.  At no point did the hydraulic quantity drop below the minimum range needed for the aircraft. Having been briefed on the prior day’s hydraulic leak and subsequent repair on aircraft 228, the crew chose to take precaution by returning to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. Although inspection of the aircraft by our maintenance team indicates that there is no issue present and that at no point was the aircraft at risk, we support the crew’s decision to preemptively return to the airport.”

John Cox is a retired airline pilot with extensive experience who now works as a consultant on aviation issues for NBC. Cox says it’s unusual for an airbus to experience problems two days in a row.

“I flew the airbus A320 for six year, and it’s an extremely reliable airplane, very well designed. It’s a work horse. It’s been in service since the mid-1980’s,” Cox said.

He does not believe passengers were at risk.

“The redundancies built into an airbus, like any modern jet airlines, are so robust that losing a single system is not inherently a safety issue,” Cox said.

Thursday afternoon a flight crew was scheduled to take the aircraft out on a check ride without passengers. The Allegiant ground team mistakenly boarded passengers on the plane but immediately had to take them off the plane so the check ride could be performed.

A spokesman for the airline says those passengers were put on the correct aircraft after a slight delay.

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