Canadian Prime Minister's plane makes emergency landing : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Posted at 6:34 p.m. PDT Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Canadian Prime Minister's plane makes emergency landing

QUEBEC CITY (Reuters) - The campaign plane carrying Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien made an emergency landing in Quebec City on Wednesday night because of a mechanical problem.

The Boeing 737, chartered from Canadian Airlines, experienced an electrical generator failure about 90 minutes into the flight from northern Ontario to Nova Scotia.

``That's one more stop on the campaign,'' joked Chretien after the plane touched down safely.

The prime minister is campaigning for Canada's Nov. 27 election.

-- Carl Jenkins (, October 25, 2000


Cano e

Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Chretien plane makes unscheduled landing with generator problem, smoke

By NAHLAH AYED -- The Canadian Press

QUEBEC -- Prime Minister Jean Chretien's campaign plane was forced to land in Quebec on Wednesday night with an electrical problem and an electrical burning smell wafting through the cabin.

All the lights in the plane shut off and the aircraft began to descend quickly.

The captain came on to the public address system and told Chretien, his aides and reporters that he would have to land in Quebec because of an electrical generator problem. The plane was losing power.

Chretien came to the back of the plane to assure reporters that everything was fine, but the temperature in the cabin skyrocketed and smoke could be smelled.

Flight attendants also said there was no reason to worry.

It was unclear what went wrong with the generator.

The Boeing 737 was flying from North Bay, Ont., to Halifax with 59 passengers and nine crew aboard. As it taxied, Chretien remained in the back, joking with reporters and telling stories about prior aviation mishaps.

His wife, Aline, remained up front in her seat immediately behind the cockpit.

"We know all about these things," Chretien said calmly.

Chretien joked the incident disproves reporters who have accused him of playing it safe during the campaign.

He and his wife were whisked away in a car immediately after the aircraft pulled up to the terminal building. A DC-9 was to be sent to replace the Boeing 737.

The landing was termed precautionary, a technical moniker that signals to air traffic controllers that the plane requires less priority than if an outright emergency had been declared.

Nicole Couture-Simard, an Air Canada spokeswoman, said the main generator on the plane failed and the backup kicked in. There was no danger at any time, she said.

Couture-Simard said whenever this happens, pilots are told to land the plane. That procedure became routine after the crash of Swissair Flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia in September 1998.

The forced landing, which rattled some reporters, was an unscripted part of a campaign which has gone according to plan, hitting only a few verbal bumps by Chretien.

On the seventh anniversary of the election that brought the Liberals to power, Chretien, the front-runner in this race, is being cautious.


-- Rachel Gibson (, October 25, 2000.

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