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United Airlines Flight Heading to LAX Makes Emergency Landing in Tucson Airport due to Smoke in Cabin

First Posted: Feb 09, 2016 06:00 AM EST
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A United Airlines flight heading to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in Tucson International Airport last Sunday morning, Feb. 7, as reported by ABC Arizona. According to airport authorities, the plane's cockpit and cabin were filled up with smoke causing the pilot to turn around and make the emergency landing.

A spokesperson from TIA Jessie Butler revealed that the United Airlines Flight 6517 came from Tucson heading to LAX and took off at exactly 6 a.m. with a total of 77 passengers. Butler noted that there was no fire, but smoke from the cockpit and cabin began to cause breathlessness to the passengers on board.

"I was too concerned with my daughter that I had put a blanket over her head because for a newborn the smell was just too strong. We were so scared that I actually at the door handed my baby to my husband and told him to run because he's a faster runner than I am," Tiffany Lizares, a passenger, said, who was with her husband, Ryan and their three-month-old daughter.

"Luckily I ran out to the left, which had an exit ramp. The other passengers who went to the right or over the wings had to jump out of the plane, so it was about a six-foot drop," her husband added.

Another one of the passengers, Jessica Scott said that everyone in the plane was terrified and in total panic. In a report by Tucson News Now, no one was reportedly hurt during the incident, but the Federal Aviation Administration has started the investigation to know what exactly happened to the United Airlines flight.

The Associated Press added that the United flight was being operated by SkyWest Airlines that took off from Arizona that Sunday morning. However, 30 minutes into the air the cabin started to get filled with smoke forcing the plane to return back to the airport.

This news comes just a few weeks after United was named one of the 22 safest airlines in the world by Airline Ratings to start the New Year. The system rating uses a host of different factors related to aviation audits from the government and private sectors as well as fatality records.

The Economist also noted that ever since the merger between United and Continental Airlines last 2010, the Chicago-based company has been called one of the worst airlines in terms of their services. United has been starting to repair their image with the latest news of hiring Chef Art Smith to bolster customers' experience at its United Club, per their official website.

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