An American Airlines flight from Miami to Boston was forced to make an emergency in Norfolk on Tuesday morning after mystery fumes entered the flight deck as it flew off the coast of North Carolina.
The pilots had to don their oxygen masks and requested emergency services after the smell of “burning paper” started to seep into the cockpit.
The Boeing 737-800 with 131 passengers and crew onboard landed safely around 25 minutes where it remained on the ground for around 16 hours as engineers tried to work out what had caused the burning smell.
With the smell of something burning, the pilots may have feared a hidden fire that could have proved to be catastrophic. Instead, local media reports claim the smell was actually caused by one of the passengers smoking in the lavatory.
Thr forward lavatory on a Boeing 737 is right next to the flight deck and cigarette smoke could easily leak into the flight deck and the passenger cabin.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the passenger was identified and if they face an investigation into their actions.
American Airlines has been contacted for comment.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.