Suspicious smell grounds flight in Whitehorse

Forty-four Vancouver-bound Air Canada passengers experienced were whisked off their aircraft in Whitehorse on Wednesday afternoon.

Forty-four Vancouver-bound Air Canada passengers experienced were whisked off their aircraft in Whitehorse on Wednesday afternoon.

Their CRJ-50 jet returned to the tarmac just minutes after takeoff.

Someone smelled smoke.

While the smoke was not visible, the smell was strong enough to require the turnaround, said Air Canada spokesperson Debra Williams.

“It’s a precautionary measure,” said Williams.

“We had emergency vehicles on standby as well just in case.”

The landing went smoothly and no one was injured. Most passengers departed for Vancouver on the first available Thursday flights, including a 100-seat Airbus, said Williams.

As of Thursday afternoon, the CRJ-50 remained grounded in Whitehorse and maintenance crews had yet to identify the source of the smell.

Officials could not say if someone was smoking in the bathroom, said Williams.

The cold weather had delayed and cancelled several flights out of the Whitehorse airport.

As of Friday morning, all flights to and from the airport are scheduled to arrive on time.

There are three scheduled Air Canada Jazz flights between Whitehorse and Vancouver daily.