'It looked easy for him:' Air Creebec pilot safely lands plane in trouble

The medical charter, which was carrying five patients and a nurse, landed with one operational engine in Val-d'Or, Que.

Medical charter flight flying from Chibougamau to Val-d'Or with 5 patients and 1 nurse

A Dash 8 plane operated by Air Creebec was forced to carry out an emergency landing Monday at the Val-d'Or Regional Airport. (Air Creebec )

An Air Creebec pilot with 20 years experience safely landed a medical charter flight with only one engine operational at the Val-d'Or Regional Airport on Monday. 

"An engine light went off, where oil pressure was being lost," said Matthew A. Happyjack, president of Air Creebec. "The pilot had to shut off one of the engines (and) from there made an emergency landing. It all went well." 

According to the Wiichihiituwin (Cree Patient Services) department for the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB), the Dash 8 aircraft was taking five patients and a nurse from Chibougamau to Val-d'Or. There were also three Air Creebec crew on board.

I was really impressed with he could land with only one engine- Louise Beaulieu , director general Val d'Or  Airport 

A view inside one of the three specially-equipped Dash 8-100 turboprop planes used for medical charter flights between Chisasibi and Montreal and Val-d'Or, which were launched in 2015. (CBHSSJB)

At 9:49 a.m., the local airport in Val-d'Or received a call from the plane asking for an emergency landing, according to Louise Beaulieu, director general of the Val-d'Or Regional Airport. 

"They called an emergency because one of the engines was off," said Beaulieu, adding that emergency measures were put in place at the airport, including closing 7th Street in Val-d'Or and bringing a fire truck to the runway. 

Beaulieu said the plane landed safely with only one engine at 10:04 a.m.

"I saw the landing and I was really impressed that he could land only with one engine," said Beaulieu, who has been at the airport for more than 30 years.

"As I saw it, it seemed easy for him. The landing was just perfect." 

Beaulieu says her airport carries out a practice of its emergency measures system each year, and every four years it carries out a live emergency simulation. The last live emergency simulation was done in 2016, according to Beaulieu.

"The pilots are given special training on emergency protocols and procedures," said Air Creebec's Happyjack. "That is what they did to arrive safely in Val-d'Or." 

An investigation of the incident will be carried out by Transport Canada, according to Happyjack. 


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