A plane that blew an engine after departing McGhee Tyson Airport returned to Knoxville and landed safely Monday afternoon.
Allegiant Air 883 was bound for the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport in Florida. According to airport officials, the pilot declared an Alert 2 emergency around 3:22 p.m. An Alert 2 means an aircraft is experiencing a possible major problem, and emergency crews are on standby at the airport to offer assistance.
Michael Paulson was a passenger on that plane. He told 10News that they heard a loud bang about five minutes after takeoff. The pilot announced that an engine had failed, and that they would be returning to the airport. He said the plane landed smoothly.
Jets are able to fly with a single engine.
Paulson said the airline was providing free pizza for the 133 passengers while they waited on another Allegiant plane to take them to Florida. They should be able to leave Knoxville by 11 p.m. Passengers will also receive $75 off vouchers for future travel.