Philly-bound flight makes emergency landing

January 31, 2008 5:12:40 PM PST
Smoke filled the cockpit of an American Airlines flight from Puerto Rico on Wednesday, forcing an emergency landing, an airport official said.

Seven people - the pilot, co-pilot, three flight attendants and two passengers - were taken to a hospital, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, The Palm Beach Post reported.

The plane had left San Juan for Philadelphia and landed safely at Palm Beach International Airport, said Casandra Davis, an airport spokeswoman.

One of those passengers was litigation support consultant Paul Null.

Paul worried if he'd see his wife Sarah, or their children, 2-year-old Anica and 4-year-old Henry again. Paul couldn't get a cell phone signal to call home so he wrote farewell letters to his family.

The plane landed safely in florida. Paul called his wife, and took an early morning flight to Philadelphia. American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said the captain reported smoke in the cockpit about two hours into the trip of Flight 1738. As the plane made its descent into the airport in Palm Beach, the inner window pane cracked and sprayed glass into the cockpit. The outer window pane was not damaged and the plane did not lose cabin pressure, she said.

She said a passenger and the first officer on the plane were taken to the hospital initially. Later, the captain and three flight attendants were also taken to the hospital.

The plane, a Boeing 757, carried 139 passengers and a crew of seven.

Fagan said another plane was being brought in from Fort Lauderdale to complete the flight to Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

As for Paul's farewell letters, his wife has not read them.