Passenger describes being struck by propeller during emergency landing
Published Saturday, November 8, 2014 11:02PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 9, 2014 8:44AM EST
As investigators try to determine what caused a plane to make a rough emergency landing at an Edmonton airport Thursday, one passenger says she’s lucky to have survived after a propeller blade came smashing through her window during the incident.
Christina Kurylo was struck in the head by a propeller blade that knifed through the body of the Jazz Aviation plane when it was forced to land at the Edmonton International Airport Thursday night. The plane was en route from Calgary to Grande Prairie.
“All of a sudden, something came crashing through my window and I got hit in the head,” Kurylo told CTV Edmonton on Saturday.
“I didn’t even realize that it was actually the propeller right through the window where Christina was sitting,” added Kurylo’s co-worker Melissa Menard, who was also on the flight.
Kurylo says the blow from the propeller knocked her glasses off and left her dazed, bruised and covered in fibreglass. As the cabin filled with smoke, Kurylo says a stranger sitting beside her helped her get out of the plane to safety.
“He stayed with me right to the very end. He was fantastic. He really helped calm me down,” she said.
Kurylo was one of three passengers who suffered minor injuries in the ordeal.
“A couple bumps on my head,” she said. “Basically, the right side of my body is bruised and bumped.”
The Transport Safety Board of Canada is investigating the incident, which happened after take-off at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night. Aviation investigators have already interviewed the flight crew and are now inspecting the plane’s landing gear and wheels for possible mechanical failures that might have caused the crash-landing.
The Jazz Aviation aircraft was a Bombardier Q-400, the same type of plane that Scandinavian Air grounded in 2007 after a number of crash-landings linked to faulty landing gears.
The aircraft that crashed at Edmonton International Airport was manufactured in 2012, according to a database of planes in service.
But David Deveau of Jazz Aviation says there’s nothing to worry about with the Q-400 aircraft. “The Q-400, both the original and the next generation aircraft, are extremely robust,” he told CTV Edmonton. “So we have no concerns about the gear.”
Menard says Jazz Aviation should consider itself lucky no one died in the crash. “This could have killed people. It was literally inches away from killing someone,” she said.
A photo taken by Menard from outside the plane shows the propeller blade lodged in the side of the cabin. She says she posted the photo on social media because she wanted to show the crash was more than a “rough landing.”
Meanwhile, the runway where the plane crashed has been re-opened after airport crews swept the area for debris earlier Saturday.
“They had to do a minor repair on a runway light that was damaged during the incident,” airport spokesperson Heather Hamilton said. “Other than that, they were able to get the lights back on and the runway open again.”
There were 71 passengers and four crew members on board the flight at the time of the incident.
Kurylo is still recovering from her injuries in Edmonton, but she plans to fly home to Grande Prairie, Alta. on Sunday.
She is – understandably – a little nervous about the flight.