Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Fri August 28 2015

FAA Looking At Latest Allegiant Safety Issue

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | August 28, 2015

FAA Looking At Latest Allegiant Safety Issue

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating another incident involving Allegiant Airlines.

This time, according to Bloomberg News, the nose of an Allegiant jet rose off the ground during takeoff from Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport on Aug. 17, forcing the pilots to abruptly stop at 138 miles per hour on the runway to regain control of the plane.

“That is a very big deal,” John Goglia, a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board who worked as an airline mechanic, told Bloomberg. “At very minimum, they would have had control problems. In a worst-case scenario, they would have been unable to control it. It could have been a disaster.”

Allegiant said it was an elevator malfunction in the tail, which causes the plane to climb or descend.

Allegiant’s mechanics and pilots have been speaking out about what they say is the company's bare minimum approach to maintenance. This is the third time this month something has happened on an Allegiant flight.

On Aug. 1, mechanical issues forced an Allegiant Air flight to abort a trip to Fresno, California just after takeoff from McCarran. And while witnesses heard loud noises and saw flames, officials determined that danger levels were actually quite low after examining what went wrong.

Two days later, however, an Allegiant flight made an emergency landing in Greensboro, North Carolina. The flight was traveling from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Richmond, Virginia when an engine issue forced pilots to divert.

Some of the 146 passengers on board the flight reported smelling smoke and hearing unusual popping noises prior to the emergency landing announcement.


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