A Spirit Airlines flight from Orlando to Latrobe was diverted back to the airport Friday night, officials said.
People on board smelled a foul odor, which was determined to be coming from the air conditioning, Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry said. The airline offered to call EMS for anyone who wanted medical attention.
Two passengers and five crew members were taken to the hospital out of an abundance of caution, Berry said.
Steve Tucibat, of Penn Hills, was flying home with his wife, Lena, and three sons from Disney World and said he could smell the odor before the plane even took off.
The plane was in the air for about 45 minutes as the smell got worse, Tucibat told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 in a phone interview.
“In all honesty, that plane should have never left the ground,” Tucibat said. “The pilot asked the flight attendant ‘Do you smell that?'”
He claims the flight attendant said she didn’t smell anything, but later saw her being taken out on a stretcher, which he recorded video of and sent to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4.
He said he saw at least a dozen people get sick, including members of his family.
“Me and my younger son, we have sore throats. The EMTs looked at us, but said we were fine,” Tucibat said. “As soon as I get back to Pittsburgh tomorrow, I’m going to our doctor.”
Tucibat said Spirit is putting his family up in a hotel for Friday night. They will fly out of Orlando at 2 p.m., but won’t land in Pittsburgh until 9 p.m. They have to find their own transportation from Pittsburgh International Airport to Arnold Palmer Airport in Latrobe, where their car is parked.
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Accident: Spirit A320 near Orlando on Aug 12th 2016, fumes on board
A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N624NK performing flight NK-878 from Orlando,FL to Latrobe,PA (USA) with 179 people on board, was climbing out of Orlando levelling off a cruise level 330 when the crew decided to return to Orlando due to a strong odour on board of the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely back on Orlando’s runway 18R about one hour after departure. 2 passengers and 5 crew were taken to hospitals with nausea and breathing difficulties.
The airline reported there was a strong but not toxic smell on board, which was identified to originate from a faulty air conditioning system.
The flight was cancelled.
AV Herald here