Alaska Airlines jet turns back twice after takeoffs

Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- Mechanics blame a faulty air cycle machine for forcing an Anchorage-bound Alaska Airlines jet to turn back to Juneau International Airport twice after taking off Monday afternoon.

Flight 76 took off Monday but the pilot called to the Juneau tower by radio at 2:20 p.m. to say there was smoke in the cockpit.

Capital City Fire Department Lt. Jerry Godkin told KINY radio that the jet landed four minutes later.

Passengers got off the Boeing 727-200 through the regular door and jetway. Godkin said the pilot concluded that there was not an immediate emergency and no need for emergency exit slides.

Passengers reported a smell like burning rubber. Firefighters boarded the plane but could not detect the smell or its source, Godkin said.

Alaska Airlines spokesman Jack Evans said the plane was checked by mechanics and given the go-ahead for passengers to reboard.

The jet took off a second time and the pilot again returned to the airport after reporting the smell of burning rubber.

Passengers on Flight 76 flew to Anchorage on other flights.

Evans said this morning mechanics traced the problem to an air cycle machine, one of two carried by the jet.

Evans said the jet was back in service this morning.

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