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Cape Air Flying Again

June 19, 2007 — After voluntarily grounding its planes for mechanical problems last week, Cape Air resumed flying again after five days on the ground.
The planes were down for two days in the Caribbean, from June 13 to 15, Cape Air spokeswoman Michelle Haynes said Tuesday. (See "Cape Air Flights Pared Back for Safety Checks.")
"It was probably one of the more painful weeks in our history," she said.
Locally, the airline connects St. Thomas, St. Croix, Tortola and San Juan.
The airline noticed unusual wear in one of a plane's engines after it failed on a flight from Nantucket to Boston's Logan Airport, Haynes said. The plane was able to land safely because it has two engines, she said. That incident came on the heels on another similar problem a week before.
"That was the smoking gun," Haynes said.
The company replaced a part in all 98 of its 49 Cessna 402 aircraft. Cape Air posted word on its website and got the word out to major media outlets to alert passengers to the problem.
The problem affected 3,000 to 4,000 passengers on 300 to 400 flights, Haynes said. The company was able to book some passengers on flights on other airlines, but many got stranded. Cape Air refunded the money to passengers who were left without a seat.
Cape Air also flies to destinations in Florida, New England and Micronesia.
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