Aviation News

December 8, 2009

Continental Passengers Sleep in Terminal After Montana Emergency Landing

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By: Matt Molnar
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CO 784 flight path.
CO 784 flight path.
CO 784 flight path.

CO 784 flight path.

A Continental Airlines jet flying to Portland, Ore. was forced to make an emergency landing at Helena Regional Airport (HLN) after one of its engines died over the Upper Midwest this past Sunday night. The air field’s rescue teams were scrambled but the aircraft landed uneventfully.

Flight 784 out of Newark (EWR) and operated by a Boeing 737-800 (reg N17233), touched down in Montana’s state capitol at approximately 10pm local time.

According to published reports, passengers were forced to sleep in the airport terminal as crews attempted to diagnose and repair the bum engine. Ultimately it was determined that the engine could not be fixed and another 737 (reg N18223) was flown in from Portland to pick up the stranded travelers.

Drowsy eyed passengers arrived in Portland at 6:40am local time, approximately 9 1/2 hours late.

According to the airport’s website, the largest commercial airliner normally seen at Helena is the daily Northwest Airlink/Mesaba CRJ-900 to Minneapolis, though the field also sees action from larger military and fire tanker aircraft.