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Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmas Eve flight destined for Bradford had fortunate ending

By KATE DAY SAGER, 
Olean Times Herald

BRADFORD, Pa. — As Bradford and surrounding communities were enjoying Christmas Eve, Leah Costik was holding a flashlight in the cockpit of a darkened Southern Airways Express airplane ready to help the pilot fly to a scheduled landing at Bradford Regional Airport.

As it turned out, the airplane, which lost its electrical power, was diverted and Costik and another passenger on board the small Cessna Caravan 208 landed safely at Erie International Airport. Contrary to earlier reports, the Cessna was a commercial flight of Southern Airways Express, not a private plane.

While Southern Airways Express officials say the plane’s diversion to Erie from Bradford was due to poor weather — and commonplace with many airports — Costik and her family believe the incident involving a passenger ready to light a cockpit control panel with a flashlight was anything but commonplace. Costik later noted the pilot was also holding a flashlight on the controls, but needed her for emergency backup with her flashlight.  Read more...

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