Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: Incident
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Aircraft Operator: UAL-United Airlines
Flight Number: UAL812
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Spokane FSDO-13
N38268 UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT UAL812 BOEING 737 AIRCRAFT ON TAXI FOR DEPARTURE, WENT OFF THE TAXIWAY, NO INJURIES, PASSENGERS DEPLANED VIA STAIRS AND BUSSED TO TERMINAL, DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT UNKNOWN, SPOKANE, WA
SPOKANE, Wash. -
Spokane International Airport was temporarily closed Tuesday morning after a United Airlines plane slid off the taxiway.
The plane, United Airlines Flight 812 bound for Denver, slid off around 6 a.m. from the southern end of the holding area of Taxiway A. No injuries were reported among the 175 people aboard.
A stairway was brought out to the aircraft and all passengers exited the plane. plane and were bused to the terminal.
“It was kind of an early morning flight like any other, I have taken many," passenger Austin Ola said.
Ola was supposed to be heading to Denver on United Flight 812, the first leg of his journey to Nicaragua to do some missionary work. First the flight was delayed before it even left the gate.
“Said it was a little bit icier than usual and they were putting de-icer down," Ola said.
But, the deicer wasn't enough and, as the 737 taxied to its runway its wheels lost traction and the aircraft ended up sliding into the snow.
“It was kind of like drifting an airplane," Ola said. “When an airplane takes off it shakes a lot. It was kind of the same feeling. Or like when you push on the brakes and you are in a car and you are on ice and it just starts to sputter along a little bit."
“Oh we are sliding, then we stopped and it was like okay. And then we just kept watching TV and they had said we had hit a snow bank," passenger Sharon Brumly said. She was traveling to the East Coast to celebrate her sister's 50th birthday.
After the passengers were transported back to the terminal, they flooded the United service counter, where they tried to book alternate flights out of Spokane International to make their connections. Brumly, like the other passengers aboard United 812, was stressed about trying to get to her final destination.
“I had about an hour layover in Denver and then get on a plane to Washington, DC, but I had a two and a half hour in DC to get to Providence so I was okay if I was going to be a little late," Brumly said.
The ripple effect was already underway as delay after delay posted up on airport flight arrival and departure monitors, then came the cancellations as the runway was shut down for nearly three hours.
United eventually sent another jet from San Francisco to Spokane to get their passengers to Denver.
“As long as I can get to Houston today, my plans will still be on track," Ola said.
The airport resumed normal flight operations at 8:45 a.m.
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