First Air plane returns to Yellowknife with mechanical issue

A First Air flight from Yellowknife to Cambridge Bay turned back with unspecified mechanical problems on Friday.

The aircraft is understood to be an ATR-42 with 21 passengers on board.

Airport workers reported the plane making a safe emergency landing at Yellowknife Airport shortly after midday on Friday.


First Air said the passengers would be transferred to a new aircraft departing at 3pm MT.

“I can confirm that the aircraft turned back safely to Yellowknife due to mechanical issues,” First Air spokesperson Dan Valin said of the initial flight, which departed at 11:45am.

“A new aircraft will be used to continue the flight while we investigate the mechanical issue with the aircraft.”

The nature of the mechanical issue affecting the plane was not specified by the airline.