Manitoba

'Emergency, bend over, hold,': mechanical issues force flight to make emergency landing in Winnipeg

Norman Mason boarded a charter plane with his uncle Friday afternoon to bring his father's body back home, but technical difficulties got in the way.

Perimeter Aviation charter to St. Theresa Point turned around because it couldn't land, passengers say

Norman Mason, right, and his uncle, left, were trying to get to St. Theresa Point First Nation to bring Mason's father home to his final resting place. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Norman Mason boarded a charter plane with his uncle Friday afternoon to bring his father's body back home, but technical difficulties got in the way.

The men waited two hours to board a plane that would fly them more than 460 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg to St. Theresa Point First Nation. Then, as the plane approached the community, they say it started circling the airport and the pilot informed the passengers they couldn't land and had to turn around.

"That's when I started crying, because I want to take my dad home to his resting place," said Mason. "My dad was a respectable man. Everybody was waiting for us to go home."

But despite his disappointment, Mason managed to find some humour in the situation.

"It's apparent my dad wants to stay behind another night in Winnipeg," he said, chuckling.

The men said the crew on board the Perimeter Aviation charter told them technical issues were getting in the way of landing safely. And it appeared the issues still hadn't been resolved by the time the plane returned to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Airport.

'They expected something bad to happen'

"They went through all the emergency protocols," said Clarence Mason, Norman's uncle. "We didn't know what to expect — the way they informed us was they expected something bad to happen."

He said flight attendants told them "emergency, bend over, hold" so they could brace for possible impact, and kept repeating it.

Crews from the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service were called to the airport at 7:38 p.m. Friday due to an aircraft emergency.

The airport was told there was a possible mechanical issue, said airport spokesperson Tyler McAfee, but the plane landed safely and taxied to the gate.

CBC News contacted the airline and City of Winnipeg for comment, but had not heard back by Friday night.

Mason and his uncle said they and the approximately 45 passengers on board the flight were being put up in a Winnipeg hotel Friday night.

The two were planning to board another flight at 10 a.m. Saturday to bring Mason's father home to rest.

With files from Tyson Koschik and Stephen Ripley

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