Local News


Second aborted Allegiant take-off in two days at McCarran

Posted at 7:24 PM, Oct 12, 2015
and last updated 2018-04-16 19:54:35-04

Just one day after a Fresno-bound Allegiant flight had to abort take-off at high speed due to an engine fire, Chief Investigator Darcy Spears found there was yet another problem with an Allegiant flight out of McCarran Airport.

Allegiant confirms that on Monday, an 8:30 a.m. flight from Las Vegas to Indianapolis had to abort take-off and return to the gate, again due to a mechanical issue. 

They say the aircraft was inspected and deemed safe--eventually taking off four hours late. 

These two incidents in two days add up to at least 16 Action News knows of since the beginning of the summer.

"I think it's very concerning and I also think it's business as usual for Allegiant," said Chris Moore of the Aviation Mechanics Coalition.

Moore has been lobbying Congress for months about the issues with Allegiant and outsourced maintenance. 

He says the fleet's older engines have a greater chance of overheating and failing.

"Profits over passengers.  Wall street still loves this airline--right, wrong or indifferent--and probably will continue to do so.  The problem is, if you continue to fly this airline as a passenger, you see more and more of these events going on and they seem to be getting more and more serious."

Contact 13 obtained a photo of Allegiant flight 516 on the tarmac at McCarran airport Sunday afternoon with black smoke coming out of the right engine.

"Smoke, maybe a little fire from the number two engine.  Everything is out now.  We just need to get the people out."

That audio from County fire crews stands in stark contrast to what the pilot was telling passengers.

In cell phone video provided by a passenger, you can hear the pilot say, "No problems.  We're just gonna sit here for a second.  We have no problems.  Our truck is checking.  Everything is fine."

Allegiant knew there was a problem. 

Contact 13 obtained a screen shot from the airline's internal operating system. 

It shows the flight was returning to the gate at 1:18 p.m. due to an aborted take-off. 

At 1:20 p.m., it notes the possibility of an engine fire and at 1:25 p.m., slides were deployed. 

Despite all that, the pilot never declared an emergency.

Inside sources Contact 13 spoke to say smoke and flames were first visible in the tailpipe and parts of the engine broke into shrapnel.

Allegiant has never agreed to an on-camera interview and today was no exception. 

They answered our questions via email, saying no emergency was declared because the fire was contained and passengers were not in danger. 

We also learned that that aircraft hasn't had a heavy maintenance check in more than a year.