FARGO — Two tires blew out on a commercial jet taking off from a runway of Hector International Airport on Thursday, May 2, causing the takeoff to be aborted.
Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of the municipal airport authority, said the incident happened about 11 a.m., when a Delta Airlines connection flight from Fargo to Minneapolis that was being handled by SkyWest suffered two tire blowouts.
He said the plane stopped safely and passengers were bused back to the terminal. No injuries were reported.
Dobberstein said that for the most part, the airport was operating normally while crews worked to replace the tires.
He said the incident happened on the airport's main runway but that a shorter, east-west runway remained operational.
Shaw said Thursday afternoon, however, that his plane was allowed to take off, but not before about half of the scheduled passengers had been taken off to make the plane light enough to use the shorter runway.
Shaw spoke to several people who had been on the SkyWest plane when the two tires blew and he said at least two said they were surprised when the plane started to swerve and wobble before coming to a stop.
Carol Albright, of Barnesville, Minn., who took a photo of the damaged tires, told Shaw the airplane's staff did a very good job of keeping passengers informed of what was happening.
Another passenger, Travis Cleveland, of Michigan, told Shaw the attendants on the flight handled the incident in a professional manner, which helped keep everyone calm. "They made me happy I chose Delta," Cleveland told Shaw.
Shaw said that as of about 2 p.m. the passengers on the plane that had suffered the tire blowouts were still waiting to depart Fargo.
Late Thursday afternoon, SkyWest issued a statement saying it was working to help passengers resume their travels to Minneapolis as quickly as possible.