HELENA – Delta Flight 4521 need to divert to the Helena Regional Airport made a diversion on Sunday June 24th after experiencing issues with cabin pressure.
Jeff Wadekamper, Director of the Helena Regional Airport, said the 76 seat aircraft was traveling from Pasco, WA to Minneapolis.
The plane did not lose cabin pressure at any time but the plane did need to land for maintenance.
The passengers of the flight were stuck at the Helena terminal for several hours while a mechanic from Minneapolis flew in with a replacement part on a regularly scheduled flight.
The passengers and crew then exchanged planes with the incoming flight and departed for Minneapolis around 10:15 pm.
Wadekamper said the most common diversions for the airport are due to weather, not mechanical issues.
“Flying is still, statistically the safest means of transportation there is today,” said Wadekamper, “So you can be rest assured that all the airports in the system that everybody is working hard to make it as safe as it possibly can be.”
Wadekamper said that it’s rare for a diversion or emergency landing to happen at the airport but that they are always prepared. The Helena Regional Airport is staffed with a fire crew and has mutual aid agreement with all local agencies.
The Helena Regional Airport is also capable of landing any size aircraft during an emergency, even the Airbus A380.