‘Flight to hell’: former mayor

  • Dec. 4, 2002 5:00 p.m.

Islanders travelling from Vancouver to Sandspit Saturday (Nov 30) found themselves on a “flight to hell”, says former Port Clements mayor Joan Ann Allen.
Ms Allen said the Air Canada Jazz flight left Vancouver at 10:30 am in fog. When it reached Sandspit, conditions were extremely foggy, and the plane circled several times and made one attempt at landing, but couldn’t. The plane then headed for Prince Rupert, where it got fuel, then flew back to Vancouver, she said.
Vancouver was too foggy to land, so the flight continued to Victoria, refueled again, and finally managed to land in Vancouver after dark. Passengers were stuck on the plane for about seven hours, Ms Allen said, with only a light lunch.
“All I wanted was a cigarette,” she said. “But we weren’t allowed off.”
After the plane landed in Vancouver, passengers had to find overnight accommodations, at their own expense. Ms Allen said there were about 250 people ahead of her in the Delta Hotel lineup, as several other flights had been cancelled because of the fog. The passengers finally reached the islands on Sunday.
Ms Allen and several of the other passengers had been in Victoria for a meeting Friday between islands politicians and Forests Minister Mike De Jong. Their expenses were covered by the Gwaii Trust.