Flight crisscrosses state 3 times before landing in Spokane

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 27, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Updated Friday, May 28 at 10:03 AM

SPOKANE -- Some irritated passengers are now in Spokane after a very strange flight.

A Southwest flight left Oakland, California around 8:00 a.m. Thursday.  Once they got to Spokane, the crew could not land.  So they went to Seattle.

The plane landed in Seattle and then took off shortly after for another run to Spokane.  This time, passengers say they could see the runway.  But the plane didn't land and again went back to Seattle.

In Seattle, a more experienced crew took over the cockpit.  They attempted for a third time to land in Spokane.  At 5:00 p.m., nine hours later, the plane finally landed.

Southwest Airlines says it was a training and equipment problem.  When planes land in Spokane, pilots have to use a new instrument system.  But it is not installed on all planes.  That is the reason the plane could land with the new crew because they knew how to use the new instrument system.

Spokane International Airport says the system is not that new.  Southwest Airlines has had plenty of warning about this new instrumentation system.

During the flight delays, KREM 2 News received a few calls and emails from frustrated passengers. One person wrote, "I have been waiting on a flight that was supposed to be here at 11am from Oakland and its gone back to Seattle for the 3rd time. Now expected to come in at 4:02pm.  ALL the other Airlines are getting in just fine."

 

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