'The pilot called mayday': Tailpipe flames force plane to return to Saskatoon airport

A fire on an Air Canada Express plane forced an emergency landing at the Saskatoon airport on Saturday.

Plane travelling to Calgary from Saskatoon returned to airport shortly after takeoff

A file picture of an Air Canada Dash 8-Q400. A similar model was forced to land shortly after takeoff from the Saskatoon airport on Saturday. (Mike Hillman/CBC News)

A fire on an Air Canada Express plane forced an emergency landing at the Saskatoon airport on Saturday.

Teri Udle of Jazz Aviation said in a statement that shortly after takeoff from Saskatoon at about 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Flight 8585 reported flames near the left tail pipe.

"The crew requested priority landing and the flight returned and landed safely in Saskatoon," Udle wrote. There were no injuries to passengers or crew.

The route Flight 8585 took when it had to be diverted back to Saskatoon on Saturday due to a fire in the left tail pipe. (Courtesy of Flightradar24.com)

Stephen Maybury, president and CEO with Saskatoon Airport Authority, also confirmed there was an aircraft-related incident.

"There was an incident related to the aircraft that required everyone on board the aircraft to be evacuated while the aircraft was on our runway.

"This incident required us to activate our emergency response plan. All the passengers were safely de-boarded, transported to, and accommodated in our air terminal building."

Maybury said they have now returned to normal operations, and Air Canada has made arrangements for their passengers.

'The pilot called mayday'

For Christy Zacharias, it's the last thing you want to hear when you put your son on a plane.

"It sounds like it was something serious," Zacharias said. "From what I'm reading on Twitter, the pilot called mayday, which indicates that they had at the very least a sensor go off indicating a fire."

Her son said he didn't see any smoke or fire, but other passengers said they did. She said after they deboarded, the passengers had to wait several hours for a new plane. By about 4 p.m., they were preparing to take off again.

"As far as my son is concerned, it's just another delay."

She said she was not angry with Air Canada, but expected better communication.