Canadian North flight loses oil, returns to Iqaluit
Passengers to depart for Rankin Inlet on replacement plane at 1 a.m.
A Canadian North flight destined for Rankin Inlet Monday had to return to Iqaluit after the flight crew discovered the plane had been losing oil.
"What had happened was when the plane was en route the crew noted an irregular reading on one of the gauges, stating that there was a loss off oil quantity on the plane, which is a very unusual thing," said Kelly Lewis, manager of communications for Canadian North.
"Our crew members are trained to handle this sort of situation."
He says the pilots on Flight 439 followed protocol and shut down the affected engine as a precaution and immediately returned to Iqaluit so the aircraft could be evaluated.
"They landed just after 6 o'clock and when they got there they did confirm right away there was a loss of oil."
Passenger Kenneth Bell tweeted two short videos which show some kind of liquid trickling along the engine cowling while in flight.
Controlled engine stop, return to Iqaluit. Gas or oil spewing from the engine :/ <a href="https://t.co/I7UZurAnRo">pic.twitter.com/I7UZurAnRo</a>—@Iqaluitkid
He says at one point in the flight one of the pilots came out, looked out the window at the engine, then returned to the cockpit and turned the flight back to Iqaluit.
When asked by CBC, Lewis said he has not seen Bell's video of the liquid coming from the engine and couldn't confirm if it was oil. He did say that at no point were passengers in danger and he classified the landing as "irregular."
Kelly says the Boeing 737-200 is now grounded and it will undergo test flights before it takes on passengers again.
An alternate Canadian North aircraft from Edmonton has been sent to pick up the affected passengers at 1 a.m. ET.