WestJet didn’t have the best of weeks recently, when the Canadian airline had two flights that experienced incidents over a matter of days.
The flights in question were flight WS131 operating from Calgary to Vancouver and flight WS1789 from Las Vegas to Vancouver.
Flight WS1789 – Smoke in cabin
Flight WS1789 is a daily flight from Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) to Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
The particular flight on Sunday 25th June 2023, left one hour late, behind its 12:51pm scheduled departure at 13:51pm. Despite the delay, the flight proceeded uneventfully, up until final approach at Vancouver.
During the approach, things went mildly wrong when the WestJet crew detected smoke in the cabin. As such, the flight crew declared a PAN PAN to Air Traffic Control and continued with their approach, followed by a successful landing in Vancouver.
Flight 1789 was operated by a Boeing 737-800 registered C-GJWS and was carrying 72 passengers and 6 crew with no injuries reported as a result of the smoke.
Flight WS131 – Bird strike causes rejected takeoff
Unlike flight 1789, WS131 suffered a much more serious incident. WS131 was operated by a 13-year old Boeing 737-700 registered C-GSWJ, on a scheduled service from Calgary (YYC) to Vancouver (YVR).
Unfortunately for this flight, it never made it to its destination Vancouver and in fact never made it off of Calgary’s runway. This is because the flight encountered a bird strike in its left engine during its takeoff roll.
Fortunately, the aircraft had not reached its V1 speed, so the Boeing was able to reject its takeoff whilst on the runway, coming to a safe stop on runway 35L.
Although, due to the sudden and hard usage of the brakes to perform the rejected takeoff, the brakes seized and the aircraft was left stuck on the runway. However, nobody was reported injured from the incident.
Sometimes things don’t go to plan
Although airlines strive to ensure that their operations go completely to plan, it should always be expected that things will go wrong and in WestJet’s case, this was an unlucky case of two things going wrong.
Despite this, this is why pilots and crew train thoroughly for situations like these, so even if something does go wrong, the crew will always know what to do to ensure the safety of their passengers and the best possible outcome be the case in whatever has gone wrong.
At present C-GJWS has continued regular flying since its mini incident having smoke in the cockpit. Intriguingly, C-GSWJ who suffered the bird strike managed to continue regular operations the next day.
This could either mean a replacement engine was able to be found for it or the damage was not as severe as one may expect.