Passengers recount aborted takeoff of Spirit Airlines flight

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A Spirit Airlines flight leaving McCarran International Airport had to stop in its tracks seconds before liftoff Tuesday night. Passengers were left waiting well into the morning to get answers.

Flight 334 was on the way from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh. It was speeding down the runway when one passenger said pilots suddenly hit the brakes, bringing the jet to a screeching halt.

Jennifer Allen of Las Vegas shared pictures of emergency crews boarding the jet and of passengers getting out on the tarmac.

Allen said the series of events was scary.

“When they slammed on the breaks I obviously knew something was very wrong,” Allen recalled. “We were going full speed and seconds from lifting off. I thought we had begun to lift off.”

Erik Hofmeyer, Spirit Airlines director of communication said the crew opted to not take off “out of an abundance of caution due to a potential maintenance issue.” The plane stopped safely and then suffered a flat tire while taxiing back to the gate.

“We were sitting there on the runway and heard a loud boom and the plane shifted weight,” said Allen. “We could see some sort of steam or smoke out the window.”

Allen says passengers were left waiting for hours for a new plane to come, but it did not. She rescheduled her flight for Wednesday evening.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the maintenance issue had to do with the airspeed indicator and the pilots thought it would be best to not fly at that moment. The flight, originally scheduled for 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, left Wednesday morning around 10 a.m.

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