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AVIATION

PenAir

PenAir is still trying to determine why an airplane engine failed last week, forcing one of its Saab 340s to make an emergency landing in Sand Point.

PenAir's Mike Walsh said mechanics have removed the flight data recorder, or "black box," which documents a plane’s trip history.

They’re sending the device for inspection to pinpoint the cause of the failure.

In the meantime, the plane will remain in Sand Point.

Courtesy of Nate Julian

A PenAir flight made an emergency landing in Sand Point on Tuesday, following an engine failure shortly after takeoff.

The Saab 340 aircraft returned to the airport safely, but passenger Nate Julian said it was a scary experience.

“It was kind of sketchy," he said. "A little bit hairy there for a minute.”

Headed to Anchorage, Julian said everything seemed normal until the plane reached the end of the runway.

“They went to ramp up the engines for takeoff," he said. "The left engine cut out a minute and then ramped up. Not a normal sound.”

Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Alaska Air Cargo has shut down its Unalaska office.

Starting Nov. 1, Alaska Airlines will no longer haul freight on island flights, which are operated in partnership with PenAir.

“Passenger services remain unaffected," said Jason Berry, managing director for cargo at Alaska. "The difference is we will no longer carry cargo on that airplane, and the main reason is that is it’s a very capacity-constrained flight.”

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

The only air carrier for the Pribilof Islands is asking for financial support to keep its remote market afloat.

PenAir has requested the U.S. Department of Transportation subsidize flights to St. Paul and St. George Islands, which are guaranteed Essential Air Service.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Between PenAir’s struggles and a new city bus proposal, transportation dominated the discussion at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

The Planning Department is piloting a bus route as part of its $5,000 transportation study.

Planning Director Bil Homka said the goal is to figure out how the city can help Unalaskans and visitors get around more easily.

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