L.A. bound jet makes emergency landing in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

L.A. bound jet makes emergency landing in Waterloo

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by Jenn Jarvis

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- 181 passengers and eight crew members bound for sunny California instead spent the afternoon in Waterloo.

Northwest Airlines Flight 335 left Detroit around 8:30 a.m. heading for Los Angeles. The Waterloo Regional Airport received reports of smoke in the cabin and people on board say it smelled like an electrical fire. The plane made an emergency landing in Waterloo just after 10 a.m.

Passengers say the atmosphere inside the plane was calm, even light-hearted, as news of the detour was announced.

"Mostly nervous laughter. A lot of people were making jokes and stuff. I'm sure everybody has a flash for a moment of, 'I don't want to die here,'" passenger David Angel said.

Angel is a frequent flyer, logging more than 100 thousand miles each year. He says emergency landings are more common than you think.

"This is my third time with some kind of a fire on a plane," he said.

The runways were big enough to handle the 757 jet, but finding equipment to use and space for nearly 200 people was a challenge.
Passengers were treated to a pizza lunc, and shuttles transported about 30 people to the Isle Casino, turning the inconvenience into a sightseeing opportunity.

"This is my opportunity to come here, so it was meant to be," Angel said.

The passengers were back in the air, headed to Los Angeles by 5 p.m.

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