Passengers transferred to different flights after landing

PORTLAND (Reuters) – An Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to San Francisco made an emergency landing on Wednesday after the right engine encountered a mechanical problem, officials said.

An Alaska Airlines 737 at Seattle Tacoma International Airport, May 2011. Photo by Frank Kovalchek via Creative Commons

Alaska Airlines said in a statement that the pilot returned the Airbus A320 to Portland International Airport, where it landed around 11:45 a.m.

“It was terrifying,” Keith Cunningham-Parmeter, who was on the flight with his wife and two children on his way to visit his grandmother for Thanksgiving, told The Oregonian / OregonLive. “I could hear the engine going up and down – then a few minutes later the captain announced very calmly that we had an engine failure.”

The plane made a continuous, high-pitched climbing noise as it descended 10,000 feet, said Cunningham-Parmeter, 48, of Portland. Firefighters were waiting on the tarmac when the plane landed as a precaution, he said.

“Our pilots are some of the best in the business and they train for these types of situations,” Alaska Airlines said in its statement.

The plane was inspected by maintenance teams and its 150 passengers were transferred to different flights, the statement said.