GPI flight makes emergency landing at Missoula airport

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A flight departing Glacier Park International Airport bound for Utah early Monday morning was forced to make a diverted emergency landing in Missoula following an issue with the aircraft’s engine.

According to a statement from Delta representatives, “Delta flight 2544 from Kalispell to Salt Lake City diverted to Missoula out of an abundance of caution due to an engine issue.”

No injuries were reported and the aircraft is currently being examined by technicians. An alternate aircraft was sent to Missoula to fly the 123 passengers to Salt Lake City.

Whitefish resident Tom Britz was aboard the aircraft and said a “loud boom was felt and heard by everybody,” about 20 minutes after take-off.

Britz said moments later the pilot came on the speaker system to announce the plane had “lost a number one engine and that they were diverting to Missoula.”

According to Britz, passengers aboard the plane remained calm and the flight crew exercised a great deal of caution and professionalism. He said the landing was smooth and after touching down on the tarmac, emergency crews at the Missoula airport were quick to approach the plane.

“I cannot say enough good things about how this entire event was handled,” Britz said. “It’s just one of those things that can happen when you’re traveling. It’s a minor inconvenience in the big picture and it could have been much worse. But it definitely felt like everyone knew exactly what to do and were trained for moments like these.”

Kianna Gardner may be reached at 758-4439 or kgardner@dailyinterlake.com.

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