The incident happened shortly before midnight as the Bombardier Q400 was landing after a short flight from Seattle.
No one from Flight 2494 was injured, said Port of Bellingham Communications Manager Carolyn Casey. Passengers and four crew members were transported back to the airport after the plane had gone too far off the north end of the runway.
The aircraft remained in the grass until 8 a.m. Monday, causing Horizon to cancel its 5:30 a.m. flight to Seattle. Those passengers were bused to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Bellingham resident Maria Bakht, who was on the flight with several friends, said it was the most jarring landing she’d experienced.
“The minute we landed, we knew immediately something was wrong” said Bakht, 37. “It seemed to be coming in too fast. It just didn’t stop. You could tell the pilot was really trying to brake and stop.”
After the plane stopped, people were calm, Bakht said.
The pilot told everyone that readings on the plane’s control panel were normal and had not indicated any danger, she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation that will include extensive interviewing of the pilot and co-pilot, said FAA spokesman Mike Fergus. Investigators won’t know the cause of the incident until later in the month, he said.