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“It’s not common for a tire to blow. We don’t know at this point what it was. The aircraft tire has been replaced, and we’re doing a thorough top-to-bottom inspection of the aircraft. We’ll ferry it down to Seattle later this afternoon.”
The aircraft remained on the ramp until about 11 PM, when it was towed back to the terminal.
The flight was en route to Juneau and Anchorage. Egan says the Anchorage-bound passengers were fed takeout pizza and re-booked on another flight which left later that night at about 1:30 AM. The Juneau passengers flew out the following morning on a replacement aircraft which left Sitka about three hours later than scheduled.
Earlier this month two Alaska Airlines jets struck bald eagles on takeoff in Sitka. One bird was sucked into an engine forcing the pilots to abort takeoff. The second bird was struck several hours later by the replacement jet, which continued undamaged to Seattle.
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