CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A reported mechanical issue and ‘smoke coming from the tail’ prompted an American Airlines flight to return to CLT Airport on Friday morning.
American Airlines Flight 1616 was leaving Charlotte-Douglas International Airport around 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, on its way to Kansas City, when about 25 minutes after take off, Queen City News Reporter Savannah Rudicel, who was on the flight, reported the smell of smoke.
Rudicel reports passengers felt ‘shaking, like hitting rumble strips on the side of the highway,’ and the ‘smell of smoke, like burning plastic.’
She tells Queen City News that the plane banked hard, and began to return to Charlotte at an increased speed and decreased altitude. The smell of smoke briefly went away, she said.
The pilot reported to passengers it was a mechanical issue and smoke coming from the tail.
At 9:57 a.m., Rudicel reports passengers felt turbulence once again and the smell of smoke returned in the cabin. Flight 1616 was back on the runway by 10:05 a.m. Friday.
Rudicel reports it was a smooth landing and passengers were not allowed to deplane immediately. The Charlotte Fire Department was waiting at CLT Airport as their flight landed.
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport released the following statement:
“The aircraft landed safely and the emergency was terminated.”
American Airlines released the following statement:
“American Airlines flight 1616 with service from Charlotte (CLT) to Kansas City (MCI) returned to CLT due to a possible maintenance issue. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to the gate under its own power. A replacement aircraft will be used to continue the trip to MCI. We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”