A passenger plane with 49 people on board had to land on one engine last night, triggering a full emergency at Sumburgh airport.
The Saab 2000 on a flight from Aberdeen circled the airport for about 20 minutes before it landed at 9.45pm when an alarm indicated a possible fire in the port engine, which was shut down as a precaution.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had been alerted at 9.20pm and an appliance from Sandwick joined airport fire engines that were in attendance as the plane landed.
Passengers were evacuated and an external check of the engine by ground crews revealed no traces of fire or damage.
Loganair said today: “Flight BE6780 carrying 46 passengers and three crew declared a mayday shortly before landing in Sumburgh last night.
“The captain received a fire caution indication from the port-side engine, which was shut down as is standard operating procedure.
“Passengers were briefed by the crew ahead of landing and the aircraft touched down safely.
“Emergency crews met the Saab 2000 aircraft to carry out an external inspection of the engine on the runway as is procedure. No traces of fire or any other damage were found.
“Everyone on board disembarked the aircraft calmly and without incident”.
The passengers were moved by bus to the terminal. Loganair engineers were today inspecting the aircraft.
Isles MP Alistair Carmichael had strong words for both Loganair and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on hearing of the emergency landing.
He said: The communities in the Northern Isles have been incredibly patient with Loganair and the CAA this year. The reliability of our lifeline air services has fallen off a cliff and the number of incidents causing safety concern has increased markedly.
“We have sought to work with the airline and the regulator but frankly they have seen this willingness to co-operate and to work responsibly as a licence to take us for fools.
“Public confidence in Loganair is now at an all-time low and they have got to start coming clean with the communities and telling us what is going on here.”
Mr Carmichael said he had it on very good authority that the CAA put Loganair on notice in June of this year about the need to improve their maintenance and support systems. In that time the service, if anything, had got worse. The credibility of CAA as a regulator and enforcer of safety standards was now at stake.
He added: “I want the CAA to confirm today that they put Loganair on notice in June. I want them to tell us exactly what they have been doing to monitor Loganair’s performance and why this does not seem to have made any difference.
“For their part, Loganair have to start being more open about what these incidents involve. If public confidence in their service is not to follow they reliability off the cliff then they have to start coming up with answers.”