Smoke Forces Emergency Landing

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MEDFORD, Ore. – A SkyWest Airlines flight out of Medford was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff when smoke began to fill the cabin.

Airport officials say SkyWest Flight 4674 took off from Medford at 6:13 a.m. en route to Salt Lake City. About 10 minutes into the flight, passengers began to notice a thin, mist-like veil of smoke inside the cabin. The pilot decided to turn the plan around, and the aircraft safely landed in Medford about 10 minutes later. Officials say no one was hurt.

The cause of the smoke is unknown. SkyWest mechanics and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating what could have caused the smoke, according to Medford Airport representative Kim Stearns. She said the aircraft will stay in Medford while officials investigate.

Passenger Steven Stilwell of Klamath Falls said the temperature inside the cabin felt abnormally hot when passengers were boarding. As the plane got into the air and the smoke appeared in the cabin, he said temperatures seemed to rise.

“When the mist came out, it was followed by a lot of heat again, the inside of the cabin got hot again,” he said. “So that was probably the only thing that was a little concerning.”

Passengers said everyone was calm and no one seemed to panic during the situation.

“Everyone was absolutely [acting] like nothing was going on,” said Steven Brown of Medford. “I finished my crossword puzzle like nothing was going on.”

Brown said the flight crew was able to keep the situation under control and kept passengers at ease during the emergency.

“Flight attendants were great, very professional,” Brown said. “They got us back around and landed as fast as humanly possible.”

SkyWest was working to make sure the passengers were able to re-book flights out of Medford. Some were able to board another flight early Monday afternoon. Others said they would have to wait for a flight later Monday night or early Tuesday morning.