After nearly running out of fuel and having to land at a partially shut airport, Allegiant Air has drawn the scrutiny of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The flight in question had about three minutes worth of fuel left before it touched down in North Dakota.
The flight and its 144 passengers were bound for Fargo, North Dakota from Las Vegas, but the destination airport was closed temporarily to host practices by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels air squad.
An air traffic controller advised the flight crew of the closure and asserted that the airline should have known about it.
The pilot indicated that the plane did not have enough fuel to land at another airport. When the air traffic controller asked the flight to hold out for about 20 minutes for the next opportunity to land at the partially shut airport in Fargo, the pilot indicated that the flight had about three minutes left before it ran out of fuel.
The FAA will try to figure out why the crew attempted the route with just enough fuel to make it to Fargo, regardless of the miscommunication with the airport's availability.
Allegiant Air issued a statement to The Associated Press indicating that it has been cooperating with the FAA and will continue to do so.
"At this time, we are coordinating with the FAA and the airport to investigate all channels of communication regarding the flight and the circumstances leading to the declaration of emergency," stated the company.
While the Allegiant flight avoided catastrophe, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is wrapping up its probe into the 2014 Virgin Galactic space flight that left the co-pilot dead and its pilot severely battered.
The NTSB took nine months to review the crash of SpaceShipTwo, a spacecraft Virgin Galactic commissioned Scaled Composites to build.
The probable cause was human error, the NTSB deduced. The pilot prematurely disengaged the feather locks, which act as brakes in a spacecraft's return to earth.
The NTSB placed some of the blame on Scaled Composites. The company did not do enough to train pilots and it failed to account for the "possibility of a single human error."