ST. GEORGE — A flight bound for Phoenix from the St. George Regional Airport was turned around Friday afternoon due to a possible issue with the plane’s engine.
Skywest flight 3133, operated by SkyWest Airlines as American Eagle, departed the airport at approximately 1:10 p.m. but returned shortly after takeoff due to an “engine indication,” according to a statement issued by SkyWest Airlines.
“The captain did declare an emergency out of an abundance of caution,” SkyWest spokesman Layne Watson said.
Emergency personnel from St. George Fire Department were dispatched to the airport at approximately 1:45 p.m. in response to the emergency declaration.
Passengers on the flight reportedly felt vibrations as the plane was flown back to the airport.
Passengers Scott Jackson and Don Bumps said they heard a loud bang and felt vibrations about 20 minutes into the flight, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Jackson said the pilot then made a slow turn over the Grand Canyon and the plane returned safely to the airport, where the pilot told the passengers the cause was a detached piece of cowling.
SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said the Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet returned to the airport due to an engine warning, according to the AP report. She could not confirm an exact cause of the issue.
“We’ve got mechanics that are out there now inspecting the aircraft,” Watson told St. George News Friday.
“The flight landed safely and we are working to help customers continue their travels to Phoenix on another flight as soon as possible,” SkyWest’s news release said. “We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
St. George-based SkyWest Airlines offers multiple daily flights from the St. George Regional Airport to Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles.
UPDATED Nov. 18, 5:30 a.m. This report is supplemented with passenger accounts reported by The Associated Press and passenger photos of the actual plane involved, a SkyWest plane. The featured image provided for illustration on first publication has been replaced with a passenger photo taken Friday of the actual plane.
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