First lady Melania Trump’s flight headed for Philadelphia on Wednesday morning had to return to Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland, after a “mechanical issue” developed, multiple outlets including The Daily Caller are reporting.
Journalists and reporters who were traveling with Melania Trump saw smoke and smelled something burning while aboard the plane, a Boeing C-32A (like the one pictured above), NBC News’ Peter Alexander tweeted.
The flight crew brought wet towels to the reporters and told them to hold them over their faces “if [the] smell became too strong,” according to a pool reporter onboard.
BREAKING: Smoke and burning smell reported on Melania Trump's flight to Philadelphia after “mechanical issue," per pool.
Flight returning to Andrews. Press brought wet towels, told to hold them over their faces if smell became too strong.
Smell and smoke have since dissipated.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 17, 2018
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The first lady was scheduled to visit Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia to meet with families whose children were exposed to opioids before birth.
The flight landed safely back at Joint Base Andrews at about 9 a.m., MSNBC reported.
The aircraft was identified by the name “Bright Star,” according to the pool reporter.
About 15 minutes after takeoff, “a small amount of smoke could be seen inside the plane, and the interior filled with a burning smell,” the pool reporter said, as The Daily Caller noted.
Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told the pool after everyone disembarked that the issue with the plane was “minor,” and that a diagnostics check was underway.
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The pool reporter wrote that she and others were boarding a second aircraft at 9:55 a.m.
Last weekend the busy first lady, who recently wrapped up a solo trip to Africa, sat down with ABC News’ Tony Llamas for a one-on-one interview that covered many topics — such as the #MeToo movement, bullying, and her husband’s alleged infidelities.
The small-town girl from Slovenia who went on to become America’s first lady was poised, confident and savvy during the hour-long interview.
Taped on a wildlife reserve in Kenya, the interview featured a measured first lady. Llamas asked Melania Trump what she found most surprising about being first lady, and her answer was food for thought — or should be, to those who are tasked with truly making a difference in the world.
“It’s sad to see that organizations and foundations I want to partner with choose not to, because of the administration. I feel they’re choosing the politics over helping others,” the first lady said. She added, “They know who they are.”
See more about the interrupted flight to Philadelphia in the video below.