CALGARY ─ Jon Parker wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary when WestJet flight 1680 gathered speed to take off to New York on a sunny Wednesday.
A frequent flyer, the 48-year-old noticed the plane was a bit rougher than usual while taxiing, but as the 737 neared takeoff speed, the aircraft came a sudden halt.
"Just as we approached takeoff speed and we were just about to go up in the air it got really bumpy," Parker said.
"Then it skidded a bit to the right and came to a stop."
About a minute later, the pilot told passengers the plane had blown a tire and was being assessed.
"It was really a lot like a bumpy landing," said Parker, a Calgarian now living in New York.
"It's funny, as we taxied out the plane felt a bit bouncy and I said, 'this runway needs repaving.'"
Despite the lurching plane, the passengers remained calm, he added.
"It could have been much worse."
WestJet spokeswoman Brie Thorsteinson Ogle said maintenance crews are assessing the damage and passengers will be taken to New York in another plane later Wednesday afternoon.