A commuter airliner was forced to turn back after a propeller blade spun off the engine, sending aluminium shards into the cabin.
The three-engine Britten-Norman Trilander, with 11 passengers and pilot Sean Deeney, had just taken off from Claris Airport on Great Barrier Island on Sunday afternoon, bound for Auckland.
The blade struck the fuselage, then fell out of the fuselage and to the ground.
Regardless of how many propellers a plane has, I don’t like planes that lose any of them.
Mr Deeney shut the engine down and returned to Claris immediately. He told Mr Maguire it was a “normal approach and landing” on two of the three engines and the plane taxied back to the terminal.
Mr Maguire said the passengers had been concerned. “Any time you are in flight and something goes wrong there is reason to be concerned,” he said.
“The passengers were a little bit alarmed but were grateful to the pilot. He did an exceptional job getting the plane on to the ground. Everybody shook his hand and told him what an exceptional job he did.”
I’ve always flown Great Barrier Airlines and the pilots are good. However I will be very interested in the outcome of the official TIAC investigation.