“Navigational Problem” Forces Continental Mic Flight 971 to Return to Guam

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Guam – Continental Micronesia Flight 971 was forced to return to the Guam International Airport this morning [Wednesday] after it developed what is being described as “navigation problem.”

Flight 971 departed Guam this morning at 7:48 am bound for Nagoya Japan.

Guam Airport Police Lieutenant Carl Cruz told PNC News that a “navigation problem” was reported and the decision was made to return to Guam. Flight 971 landed safely and without incident at Guam International Airport at 9:10 am Wednesday morning.

Lt. Cruz was not able to provide further details about just what that means.

Lt. Cruz said that all the passengers have left the plane and mechanics are working on it to determine the cause and repair the problem.

Continental has released the following statement on the return of  Flight 971:

“Today’s Continental flight 971 from Guam to Nagoya returned to Guam after take-off as  the pilots found a malfunction with the cockpit electronics unit.  The plane safely returned to Guam at 9:28 am,” stated Koji Nagata, Director of Corporate Communications for Asia Pacific for Continental Airlines.  ” All of the 44 passengers on board are safe.  The flight is expected to leave for Nagoya at 10:30 am with a 2 hours and 40 minutes delay.  Continental is now checking the cause of the problem.”

This is the third reported malfunction to a Continental plane departing from or bound to Guam within the past 2 months.

* On July 22, a Continental flight to Hiroshima made an emergency landing at the Guam International Airport after an apparent malfunction  within the control panel.

*On June 29, a Continental Micronesia plane bound for Guam from Fukuoka made an emergency landing at Narita airport after what Continental said was  “a malfunction with one of the generators” on the aircraft. Passengers had reported the smell of oil in the cabin.