Local News

Plane Back in Flight After Making Emergency Landing

Posted December 5, 1998

— An American Airlines flight with 85 passengers on board had to land unexpectedly at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Sunday after a pilot reported fumes in the cockpit.

When the pilot of Flight 1275 noticed the odor, he suspected there could be caustic fumes in the cockpit, and decided to divert the flight, which was enroute to Miami from Washington, D.C.

"The pilot then radioed back and said there were some fumes in the cabin and at that point we elevated it to an alert two level," said Mike Blanton, spokesman at RDU.

Passengers waited while maintenance crews identified and fixed the problem, an electrical ballast which overheated, causing a burning plastic smell.

"Preliminary indications seem to point to overhead lights, that there might have been a short somewhere and those were the fumes people were smelling," said Blanton.

The faulty part was replaced, and after about an hour's delay, Flight 1275 was back in the air.

No one was injured or overcome by the fumes, but fire trucks, ambulances, and emergency personnel were on standby near the terminal when the plane landed.

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