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Whitehorse-bound Air North flight makes emergency landing in Prince George

The aircraft had a pressurization issue, the airline says
Daniel LeGoffe is seen wearing an oxygen mask due to a pressurization issue mid-flight to Whitehorse on Feb. 8. He said: “We descended from 33k feet to 10k feet quite quickly as is procedure. We had to emergency land in Prince George. Your training really showed. You’re the most courteous airline service - I would wager to say - in the world!” (Daniel LeGoffe/Facebook)

An Air North flight travelling from Vancouver to Whitehorse made an emergency landing in Prince George on Feb. 8.

Nobody was injured, and all passengers of the afternoon flight arrived safely in Whitehorse later that night.

According to Joe Sparling, Air North’s president, the plane experienced a pressurization problem mid-flight.

“Crew elected to descend and divert to Prince George,” Sparling told the News on Feb. 9.

He said staff followed Air North procedures and “did a great job of making sure that the inconvenienced passengers were well looked after.”

After landing safely at the Prince George airport, another plane was dispatched out of Whitehorse. Air North staff ordered pizzas from town for the passengers, who waited about three hours to lift off again, Sparling estimated.

Once passengers boarded the second plane, both aircraft took off from Prince George and arrived in Whitehorse without incident.

Sparling couldn’t comment on the cause of the problem. He said the plane, which is one of Air North’s five Boeing 737s, was still undergoing maintenance in the hangar.

“The pressurization problem was legitimate, and they flew home unpressurized,” Sparling said. “So, we’re troubleshooting the problem now.”

As luck would have it, the aircraft was already scheduled to be in the hangar on Feb. 9 for flight attendant training, so services weren’t interrupted.

“Obviously we’re disappointed that we inconvenienced our passengers, but I think that under the circumstances, the crew did a great job of looking after them,” Sparling said.