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Beijing-Seattle flight diverts to remote Aleutian Islands airstrip due to ‘potential engine issue’

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: December 24, 2018
  • Published December 24, 2018

Shemya Island. (D.D. Gibson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

A Delta Air Lines flight carrying 194 passengers from Beijing to Seattle had to make an emergency stopover Monday on a remote Aleutian island.

The flight landed at Eareckson Air Station on Shemya “due to a potential engine issue,” according to a Delta statement.

A rescue flight landed at Shemya around midday Monday, Delta spokesperson Drake Castaneda said in an email. The flight will allow stranded passengers to continue to Seattle. The airline was also sending maintenance technicians, airport customer service agents and a new crew to operate the flight to Seattle.

The flight was expected to land in Seattle just after 9 p.m. there, Castaneda said.

The air station provides Shemya’s only airstrip: a 10,000-foot runway. Eareckson houses a radar array and serves as a U.S. Air Force refueling hub and a diversion airport for civilian aircraft like the Delta flight that landed there. It hasn’t been an active Air Force base since 1994.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration couldn’t be reached Monday due to the partial federal government shutdown.

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