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JET MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING IN PUEBLO – MALFUNCTIONING VENT CAUSES SMOKE ODOR, ALARMS TED PILOTS

Rocky Mountain News (CO) – Thursday, June 23, 2005
Author/Byline: Clayton Woullard , Rocky Mountain News
Edition: Final
Section: News
Page: 12A
A jet made an emergency landing at the Pueblo airport Wednesday evening after pilots reported smoke in the cockpit.

The Airbus 320 was flying at about 35,000 feet from Chicago to Las Vegas with approximately 160 passengers onboard when pilots reported fire and smoke in the cockpit to a tower at the Pueblo Municipal Airport, said Shawn Shelton, assistant fire chief of the Pueblo Fire Department.

The flight was operated by Ted, United Airlines’ discount carrier.

Emergency crews were standing by when the plane landed at the airport about 6:40 p.m. No injuries were reported. Everyone on board was evacuated.

While the initial report from the plane indicated there was fire and smoke in the cockpit, Shelton and United spokesman Dave Dimmer both said flames were never visible.

Shelton said firefighters reported the smell of smoke only in the cockpit.

As a safety measure, they disconnected the plane’s battery power after landing, Shelton said.

Dimmer said an airport mechanic found that a malfunctioning vent caused the smoke.

But because the mechanic was not certified to fix the vent, the plane was grounded indefinitely.

United sent another jet from Denver International Airport.

It was scheduled to arrive in Pueblo at 11:15 p.m. to take the passengers to Las Vegas, where they were expected to arrive at 1 a.m., Dimmer said.

Dimmer said it was not known what caused the vent to malfunction.

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