A government plane carrying Melania Trump had to turn around and return to an air base in Maryland after smoke filled the cabin.
The First Lady of the United States was aboard the aircraft today on her way to Philadelphia to address a hospital conference on neonatal abstinence syndrome. But minutes into the morning flight, the aircraft developed a “mechanical” issue.
Secret Service agents leapt from their seats 10 minutes into the morning flight and ran to the front of the aircraft.
Reporters on board said they were told a “mechanical” issue caused the scare. No one was hurt but the first lady didn’t reach her destination. A press pool reporter on board said journalists “could see a thin haze of smoke and smell something burning. The smell quickly became stronger.” A crew member told the reporter that a “malfunctioning comms unit” was to blame.
Melania’s flight returned to Joint Base Andrews and landed safely at 9:05 a.m.
The plane was a C-32, the military’s version of the Boeing 757-200. It’s the same aircraft that took the first lady to Africa this month and is routinely used as “Air Force Two” when Vice President Mike Pence travels outside Washington.