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Updated: Diverted American Airlines flight lands safely at the TRI

Hank Hayes • Jun 26, 2019 at 12:08 PM

BLOUNTVILLE - Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) confirmed Wednesday an American Airlines flight diverted to TRI and landed safely.

Flight Number 4890 had departed Charlotte, N.C., and was headed to Lexington, Ky.

The ERJ-145 aircraft landed at TRI at approximately 10:06 a.m. with 52 passengers and four crew on board.

“The reason for the diverted landing was smoke and an acrid smell in the cabin,” passenger Brian Noyes said in an email. “As we were preparing to take off, the flight attendant alerted all passengers that the air conditioning was not working and asked us to close all window shades (except for the emergency exit row where I was seated and had confirmed I could handle opening the door in an emergency). That may or may not have been the source of the smell and bit of smoke.”

The subsequent flight from TRI to Lexington was canceled.

“There is no impact to airport operations,” said an airport release, which did not disclose why the flight had to divert to TRI.

The most common reasons a flight may be diverted are weather conditions, unruly passengers or a medical emergency, according to the Sheffield School of Aeronautics.

There are also differences between a diversion and an emergency landing.

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