PITTSTON TWP. — A US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Albany, N.Y. made an emergency landing at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport early Friday morning due to a report of the smell of smoke in the cockpit, airport officials said.
There were 12 passengers and three crew members on US Airways flight 4394, all of whom were safely removed from the plane.
No injuries were reported, though a dozen fire and ambulance crews from communities as far away as Elmhurst were called in.
The plane was en route when at 9:30 a.m. crews called the control tower at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton saying they were 30 miles south of Wilkes-Barre and in need of a runway on which to land.
Within minutes the plane was on the ground and emergency crews surrounded the Dash 8 prop plane on the runway.
No flames or smoke were detected, according to Airport Director Barry J. Centini. US Airways was alerted and officials were expected to arrive at the airport to inspect the plane, detect the cause of the odor, make repairs and have it back in the air, Centini added.
The passengers, 10 adults and two children, were taken by passenger vans to Albany after more than 90 minutes of waiting at the airport. They were not brought out of a secure area and media were not given access to them. The drive to Albany is about three and one-half hours.
George Bieber, the airport’s director of safety, said the airport holds two training sessions per year with regional emergency responders for incidents just like this and the quick response time showed that those sessions are worthwhile.
He said at least a dozen emergency landings have been made at the airport this year by commercial airliners and called this one “minor.”
Only one flight was affected. A US Airways flight from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Philadelphia that was scheduled to depart at 10:04 a.m. was held on the runway about 20 minutes before it was given clearance to take off.