By DAN HEATH
---- — PLATTSBURGH — An Allegiant aircraft was forced to return to Plattsburgh International Airport on Friday after the crew reported a mechanical issue shortly after takeoff.
Allegiant spokesperson Justin Ralenkotter said Flight 853 to St. Petersburg, Fla., with 159 passengers, took off at 11:33 a.m. Shortly after takeoff, the flight crew reported a mechanical issue to air traffic control and requested a return to Plattsburgh.
Airport Manager Christopher Kreig said the airport followed its emergency protocols.
“We initiated a Level 2 response at the airport,” he said.
That brought the Airport Fire Department into action, as well as crews or equipment from the South Plattsburgh, Peru, City of Plattsburgh and Plattsburgh District 3 fire departments, as well as EMTs from CVPH Medical Center, State Police and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.
The plane landed safely at Plattsburgh at 12:53 p.m., and passengers were deplaned, Ralenkotter said by email.
Kreig said the alert was terminated after the flight’s pilot conferred with the Airport Fire Department chief.
“I am appreciative of their (responders) support of the airport,” he said.
No one was injured, Kreig said, and the passengers were waiting for the airline to send another plane to make the flight.
Ralenkotter said the flight is scheduled to depart at 6:30 p.m., and the Allegiant website showed it was expected to arrive in Florida at 9:30 p.m., seven hours after its original scheduled arrival.
He said passengers were given food and beverage service at the airport, as well as a $75 voucher for future travel on Allegiant.
They would also be offered a full refund if they decide to cancel their flight or have the option to reschedule to another date at no cost.
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