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Air Canada flight makes emergency landing after circling Toronto due to engine failure

A Sky Regional Express Q400 turboprop aircraft is photographed on the tarmac at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on April 29 2011.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Twenty four people on an Air Canada Express flight from Montreal to Toronto wound up circling over Pearson International Airport, waiting to make an emergency landing Wednesday afternoon after one of the plane's engines failed.

Emergency ground crews were readied as the twin-engine Dash 8 landed safely after being diverted to Pearson. That airport has much bigger runways, thereby giving more room for an emergency landing, than the smaller Toronto Islands airport where the plane was originally supposed to arrive.

The cause of the engine failure wasn't immediately known late Wednesday, said a spokeswoman for Sky Regional, which operates the Air Canada Express flight AC7515. Word among Air Canada airport check-in clerks during the time of the emergency was that the plane was having hydraulic problems, possibly causing the one of the engine to malfunction.

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Engine failure is one of the main emergencies that pilots train for. Despite the in-flight scare and diversion to Pearson, the emergency only delayed the flight by a few minutes. Starting in Moncton and after a stopover in Montreal, the flight landed only about 20 minutes later than scheduled.

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Guy Dixon is a feature writer for The Globe and Mail. More


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