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Continental Plane Lands After Engine Fails, Eastern Jet Returns To Logan

August 1, 1987

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) _ A Continental Airlines jet with 146 passengers aboard landed safely Friday afternoon after one of its two engines failed over the Utah desert, officials said.

In Boston, an Eastern Airlines flight to Washington, D.C., returned to Logan International Airport shortly after takeoff Friday night, apparently due to a problem with a flap, said Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The landing at Grand Juncition’s Walker Field went smoothly with no injuries, said Chuck Coble, Continental’s general manager in Grand Junction.

Flight 438 originated in Stockton, Calif., en route to Houston with intermediate stops in Fresno, Calif., and Denver, Coble said. The problem developed on the Fresno-to-Denver leg of the flight.

The DC-9 jet, with a crew of six, landed without incident about 20 minutes after the engine failed, Coble said. The plane was cruising at 31,000 feet when the engine failed and there was no loss of altitude when the incident occurred.

The cause of Friday’s engine failure had not been determined, Coble said. Passengers were scheduled on later flights.

On Monday, another Continental plane, en route from Denver to Oakland, Calif., landed at Walker Field after flight attendants reported a burning smell later traced to an overheated oven.

In Boston, Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the airport-operating authority, said Eastern Flight 623, with 116 passengers, returned to Logan International shortly before 10 p.m. He said it had not been airborne long but did not have an exact takeoff time.

Orlandella said he didn’t know what type of plane was involved or whether the flight had resumed after repairs.

Telephone calls to Eastern’s Boston office went unanswered late Friday night.

On Thursday, a Delta jetliner preparing for takeoff at Los Angeles was struck by a smaller commuter airliner on the taxiway, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Boeing 767 sustained minor damage, said FAA spokesman Rich Tormquist. The other aircraft, a Sky West airlines Swearingen Metroliner, was damaged in its tail section.

Jim Ewing, a Delta spokesman in Atlanta, declined to comment on the latest in a series series of mishaps that have struck the airline but caused no injuries, including a crew’s accidental shutoff of both engines, a landing at the wrong airport during a storm and a near-collision over the Atlantic Ocean.

In another incident, an Atlantic Southeast Airlines commuter flight from Atlanta to the Greenville-Spartanburg (S.C.) Jetport with 31 passengers was scheduled to land at the jetport at 8 p.m. Thursday, but a cockpit panel light incidated a malfunctioning landing gear, authorities said.

Rather than try an emergency landing at the small jetport, the pilot flew back to Atlanta, fire engines were summoned, and passengers were told to prepare for a crash landing. But it was the panel light, not the landing gear, that was malfunctioning and the landing proceeded safely, authorities said.

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