Find an updated version of this story here.
The crew of a Delta Air Lines flight from Tokyo to San Francisco declared an in-flight emergency and diverted to Cold Bay, where the jet landed without incident Wednesday morning, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
Crew in the flight deck “acted out of an abundance of caution” and decided to make the unscheduled landing after an indicator signalled a possible problem with one of the aircraft’s engines, according to Delta Air Lines spokesman Michael Thomas.
There are 167 passengers and 11 crew members on board including pilots and flight attendants, Thomas said in an email. The aircraft is a Boeing 767-300ER.
Passengers will be switched to another aircraft, he said.
The airport at Cold Bay — a community of about 60 people in the Aleutian Islands — is a former military facility that has Alaska’s third-longest runway.
The plane was “resting” on the runway as of mid-morning Wednesday, said Mary Martin, who owns the Cold Bay Lodge with her husband, Bill.
Martin, who said the plane landed between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Wednesday, got an early-morning call asking if the lodge could take care of any crew who needed to stay the night. She was told a Delta maintenance crew was expected to arrive in Cold Bay around 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Cold Bay sees the occasional commercial aircraft making emergency landings, maybe one or two a year at best, at its well-lit, wide-open runway, Martin said. “We’re only six hours from Tokyo and we’re closer than Anchorage.”
By ZAZ HOLLANDER
Anchorage Daily News