ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - An Allegiant flight leaving St. Pete-Clearwater International airport had to "abort takeoff" Thursday afternoon.
Allegiant Flight 904 to Kansas City aborted its takeoff after a loud boom was heard, according to passengers. St. Pete-Clearwater's public information officer said the reason was a mechanical issue.
The FAA told FOX 13 News it is investigating Thursday's aborted takeoff. It also revealed Thursday, the agency sent a written reprimand to the airline for another aborted landing in Las Vegas in August.
Experts have said that incident could have been a catastrophe when the elevator, a part that creates lift, got stuck in an upward position. The FAA's investigation revealed improper maintenance caused that issue, but the agency says it is satisfied with changes the airline made to prevent that same issue again.
The flight was originally scheduled to leave at 2:23 p.m. Allegiant said in a statement issued Thursday evening, the aircraft pushed back from the gate at 2:57 p.m.
Allegiant said there was "an immediate indication of a possible issue with the left engine" and the crew aborted takeoff. The plane returned to the gate and passengers went back into the airport.
Air Force pilot David told FOX 13 he was on the plane with his family of 6. David said, during takeoff, they heard a loud boom, then returned to the terminal.
David added, passengers were told there was an "engine failure on takeoff."
David told FOX 13 the ordeal was "very scary for the kids."
Allegiant said the aircraft will undergo an inspection. Passengers were boarded onto a replacement aircraft, which left the airport at 6:28 p.m. They were also given the option to change their flight to another one in the Allegiant network at no charge.