Smoke in cabin forces AA jet to return to Phoenix

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PHOENIX, Ariz. — A Chicago-bound passenger jet was forced to return to Phoenix Sunday morning, after the pilot reported smoke in the cabin.

The Associated Press reported that an airport spokeswoman said the pilot of American Airlines Flight 1172 landed safely and returned to the gate. The MD-80 was carrying 140 passengers and five crewmembers.

Airline spokesman Jim Faulkner says mechanics believe the smoke came from a small fluid leak in an auxiliary power unit. They expect to fix the problem quickly and use the same plane to take the passengers to Chicago.

American’s website shows the flight departed at 10:01 a.m. MST. The airport says the pilot reported the emergency six minutes later.