**Update: 02/26/21 @ 12:11 UTC – Added statement from SkyWest**
On Wednesday, February 24th, a SkyWest Airlines Canadair CRJ-700 was descending towards Aspen, Colorado, when the crew reported an electrical odor in the cabin. The plane was met by emergency services, who could not locate any immediate issue. The jet is the same age and type as one forced to make an emergency landing in Fort Myers with smoke in the cabin late last year.
Landed safely 15 minutes later
The aircraft, operating flight AA-3150, was carrying 53 people onboard. As reported by the Aviation Herald, the plane landed safely on Aspen/Pitkin County Airport’s (ASE) runway 15 about ten minutes after the crew had reported the smell.
However, where the scent was coming from remains a mystery, as emergency services could not find any evidence of smoke, fire, or any other heat source. Nor could they smell any fumes when they boarded the aircraft.
The aircraft is registered as N715SK and is owned by American Eagle but operated by SkyWest. The flight in question took off from Chicago O’Hare, Illinois at 08:54 CST and landed in Aspen, Colorado, six minutes ahead of schedule at 11:24 MST, equaling three hours and 30 minutes in the air.
A spokesperson for SkyWest has shared the following statement which was prepared right after the event with Simple Flying,
“SkyWest flight 3150, operating as American Eagle, reported a faint odor prior to landing in Aspen, Colorado today. The flight landed safely and taxied to the gate. Out of an abundance of caution, airport vehicles met the aircraft and did not find any problems.”
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Smoke in another CRJ-700 cabin in November
The 16-year old aircraft remained on the ground for about four hours before it returned to service. It then flew from Aspen to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in Texas. It has since operated two more flights; one from DFW to Billings (BIL), Montana, and one from DFW to Bloomington-Normal (BMI), Illinois. The latter was still in progress at the time of writing, but they are both incident-free, as far as we can tell.
In November last year, another SkyWest CRJ-700 operating an American Airlines flight from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to DFW had to turn back and make an emergency landing. The plane had only reached 10,000 feet when the crew reported that there was smoke in the cabin. The plane, registered as N73SK, is also 16 years old.
SkyWest flies for most major US carriers
SkyWest is a regional American airline. It is headquartered in Utah but serves major US carriers via contracts. It operates flights for Alaska Airlines as Alaska SkyWest, for American Airlines as American Eagle, Delta Air Lines as Delta Connection, and United Airlines as United Express. The carrier currently has a fleet of 563 aircraft, including 116 CRJ-700s.
Have you ever experiences anything odd such as a strange smell while on board a flight? Tell us about what happened in the comments.