Orlando-bound flight diverted to North Carolina

Fumes force American Airlines flight 809 to land in Wilmington

ORLANDO, Fla. – An American Airlines flight bound from Philadelphia to Orlando was forced to land in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Tuesday after the pilot reported smoke and fumes.

Flight 809 was delayed in Philadelphia for an hour before departing, according to passengers on board.

One hour into the flight, the pilot can be heard in radio communication telling the control tower something was wrong.

"We’ve had smoke and fumes in the back and would like them to come take a look at it," a crew member said.

Radio communication also indicated the flight crew was wearing oxygen masks.

The plane landed with fire trucks waiting at Wilmington's airport at 1:41 p.m.

Passengers told News 6 they were never told why the plane was diverted.

They said it took eight hours for American to find another plane to take them on the rest of their journey to Orlando.
"It was a long day.  It was just a long long day," said Emily Moorehouse, a passenger on flight 809.  
American Airlines confirmed the odor in the cabin, and said none of the 178 passengers were injured.

"We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this has caused," said a spokesperson.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.