The Delta Connection flight is still grounded on the runway waiting to be towed. The plane, operated by Pinnacle Airlines, was headed to Atlanta with 76 passengers on board. Some of those people are still waiting to take off.
Around 7am, passengers aboard Delta Connection Flight 4302 found themselves on the ground rather than in the air. According to the FAA, the pilot reported a communications problem and while returning to the gate, ended up taxiing onto the grass. Passenger Ahsan Akhlaq spoke to us from the plane.
"While making a turn, it seemed like apparently he got off the tarmac and on the grass and the wheels got stuck and he had to just screech to a halt. And the pilot announced it was a faulty gear mechanism," Akhlaq told us.
In all, 76 passengers and four crew members remained on board for an hour until being bussed back to the terminal and rebooked onto later flights. We talked to other Delta passengers waiting for their flights to Atlanta.
"It must've been frightening for them, but I need to have someone tell me what's going on so I can get on my flight in a timely manner," said Helen Pivirotto.
Eric Parson told us, "I wouldn't want it to happen on my flight, of course, because I have things to do, so I like to be on schedule so hopefully everything goes according to plan."
Paige Atsalis' 11am flight to Atlanta is now delayed, and as a result, so is her Spring Break.
"Our connection was originally we'd arrive in Atlanta at 2 and our flight would leave at 3. So now we're arriving at 2:30 and we might be scheduled on a 4:45 flight from Atlanta. So a little bit of a delay, but hopefully we'll arrive there by this evening," Atsalis said.
No injuries were reported.
The FAA is investigating the incident. Runway 12R will remain closed until the CRJ-900 aircraft can be properly towed.
A spokesperson for the Houston Airport System says the plane is not causing any traffic disruption on the runway.
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