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Alaska Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Portland

Passengers transferred to different flights after landing

PORTLAND — An Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to San Francisco made an emergency landing Wednesday after the right engine experienced a mechanical problem, officials said.

An Alaska Airlines 737 at Seattle Tacoma International Airport, May of 2011. Photo by Frank Kovalchek via Creative Commons

Alaska Airlines said in a statement that the pilot returned the Airbus A320 to Portland International Airport, where it landed about 11:45 a.m.

“It was terrifying,” Keith Cunningham-Parmeter, who was aboard the flight with his wife and two children on their way to visit his grandmother for Thanksgiving, told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “I could hear the engine torquing up and down — then a few minutes later, the captain very calmly announces that we’ve had one engine fail.”

The plane made a continuous, high-pitched revving sound as it descended from 10,000 feet, said Cunningham-Parmeter, 48, of Portland. Fire crews were waiting at the tarmac when the plane landed as a precaution, he said.

“Our pilots are among the best in the business, and they train for these types of situations,” Alaska Airlines said in its statement.

The plane was being inspected by maintenance crews, and its 150 passengers were being transferred onto different flights, the statement said.