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With engine overheating, ERA plane makes emergency landing in Homer

Michael ArmstrongHomer News

An Era Aviation flight from Kodiak to Anchorage made an emergency landing in Homer Monday after the pilot shut down an overheating engine. Flight 889, a DeHavilland Dash 8 aircraft, a two-engine propeller plane, landing safely at the Homer Airport at about 12:15 p.m.

"We wanted to get to Homer, but not this way," said Peggy Chapple of Homer, returning with her two grandchildren, Owen and Kyla Pitzman, and her sister, Diane Griffin.

Flight 889, carrying 28 passengers, two pilots and a flight attendant, left Kodiak at 11:28 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Anchorage about 12:25 p.m. Steve Smith, director of sales and marketing for Era, said the pilot noticed a high temperature on an engine and shut it down as a precautionary measure. The pilot then diverted to Homer and landed safely.

"He did an excellent job," passenger Angela Bowling of Kodiak said of the pilot and the landing.

Chapple said they were about 15 minutes out of Kodiak when she looked out the window at the engine on the right side.

"The next thing I know, I'm watching the propeller stop," she said. "'Why are they shutting down the engine?'" Chapple said she wondered.

Kyla Pitzman said the flight was just beyond Homer when it turned around. Chapple said she wasn’t sure. "I was too busy praying," she said.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson said Era reported the incident to the NTSB, although it's not mandatory to report such incidents. "They did it to be on the safe side," Johnson said.

In prior such incidents Era has forwarded the results of its investigation and usually no action is needed by the NTSB, he said.

Michael Armstrong is a Homer News reporter who can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com. Used with permission.