An Embraer EMJ-145 regional jet aircraft — which operated as American Eagle flight 3400 on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — departed from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on its way to Quad City International Airport in Moline but was diverted to Greenville, Texas due to smoke reported in the cockpit as described by FlyerTalk member TestKing, who was aboard that flight with his wife:
“Rare for me to post on FlyerTalk but this is an amazing story (and not just because we survived the landing). My wife and I were aboard Eagle Flight 3400 (DFW-MLI) on March 5. Pilot declared emergency about 25 minutes out. Smoke in cockpit. Captain Andrei turned our little Embraer around on a dime and was able to get us down within 10-15 minutes on Majors Airfield (home of L3 Communications). The flight crew was astounding and amazing. The Flight Attendant, David, was more than up to this task. He took us through emergency landing and evacuation like a pro.”
The aircraft landed approximately 50 miles east-northeast of Dallas at Greenville Municipal Airport — Majors Field without incident, as there were no injuries or fatalities reported. TestKing and his wife were two of 45 passengers aboard the aircraft; and they exited the aircraft through the emergency exit by the wing.
The passengers and the three members of the flight crew were transported from Greenville to the Dallas-Fort Worth area by bus; and were reportedly provided with hotel accommodations by American Eagle. The passengers were supposedly rebooked on flights for Thursday, March 6, 2014.
“25,000 miles issued within 12 hours of my throwing the emergency exit door onto the tarmac at Majors Airfield (hope they don’t charge me for damaging the plane …)”, posted TestKing. “I’d like to know how many flights in a year require passengers to escape a plane through the over-wing emergency exit door and then stand around on the tarmac in freezing weather waiting for 15-20 minutes for First Responders to arrive on the scene?”
Although there are no further details at this time as to exactly what was the cause of the smoke in the cockpit other than a “failed electrical component” as described by an official spokesperson of the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States, “I listened to ATC communications with our VERY young female FIRST OFFICER (not the Captain)”, posted TestKing. “I was very surprised at how little ATC interacted with our cockpit. Heck, our pilot declared an emergency – smoke in cockpit – needed to land immediately. To hear all the usual DFW radio traffic, you wouldn’t know there was any emergency in their airspace. They have to attend to all traffic in their space, but you would think there would be more focus on a flight that is returning to DFW and that declares they cannot make it back to DFW. I wonder if ATC even registered that we had an emergency. Not a lot they can do, I suppose. Good thing our pilot was cool-headed and not too reliant on much help from ATC.”
I am certainly glad you and your wife are all right, TestKing — especially when considering the ongoing news pertaining to Boeing 777-200 aircraft which operated as Malaysia Airlines flight 370. The aircraft — which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 members of the flight crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing — which disappeared early in the morning on Saturday, March 8, 2014 somewhere over the Gulf of Thailand en route, according to a statement released from the airline.
There is still no word at this time as to what happened to that aircraft…