A Cayman Airways flight destined for Tampa, Florida, was forced to turn back to Grand Cayman on Thursday because of engine trouble. Flight KX200 had to make an emergency landing.
None of the 128 passengers on board was injured.
The Owen Roberts International Airport went into “full emergency” mode, the fire service confirmed, as the plane prepared to return to the airport.
Police cordoned off roads around the airport before the emergency landing.
In a statement, Cayman Airways said that shortly after takeoff, the aircraft experienced “abnormal engine parameters, accompanied by vibration, on the right-hand engine while climbing through 5,000 feet.”
The pilots, Captain Steven Coe and First Officer Kel Thompson, completed “several required safety checks inflight, which resulted in the engine having to be shut down and an emergency declared for a landing with an inoperative engine” at the airport, the airline stated.
“The captain declared an emergency and returned the aircraft to the airport, landing safely at 12:20 p.m. without incident,” according to the airline.
Cayman Airways CEO Fabien Whorms said in a statement, “While our pilots are highly trained and well prepared to handle any situation in flight, we highly commend Captain Coe and the rest of the crew for their precise execution of the prescribed procedures in this instance.”
He said all multi-engine aircraft are certified to operate all phases of flight with one engine inoperative, including takeoff and landing, provided a specific set of operating procedures are followed.
Mr. Whorms added, “We know that the onboard experience during this event was unsettling for our passengers and we apologize for any discomfort experienced. We can, however, assure everyone that the flight crew maintained a safe operating environment throughout the flight.”
He said the aircraft had been removed from service for repairs and another Cayman Airways aircraft and crew operated a delayed flight KX200 to Tampa, which departed Thursday afternoon.