Las Vegas NV- 37 passengers and two crew members succumbed to fumes after a 737-200 (N666JT) landed at McCarran Airport. The 737 aircraft was taxing to parking when the crew reported fumes in the cockpit. Captain Brian Aldridge stopped the aircraft on the taxiway and ordered an immediate evacuation. Details remain sketchy as injured passengers report a sweet, vanilla smell just before the emergency doors were opened. One passenger reported a smell similar to cookie dough.
“It was a normal landing and we were going to the gate when everyone started coughing and gasping for breath. the doors came open as soon as we stopped and I got the hell out of there. It was hard to see and it smelled like chocolate chip cookies. ”
-Mrs Candace Baker, Las Vegas, NV
The surviving passengers and crew were rushed to University Medical Center where they are being treated for lung damage and chemical burns. Three are in the hospital’s ICU and are listed as critical.
NTSB investigators have said that this mishap is similar to one that occurred to a Boeing 737-United Flight 1313 which crashed while attempting to land at the Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, AZ on February 5, 2017.
Right up front, let me tell you that I LOVE to fly. Whether it’s a jumbo jet or a teeny, tiny prop job….yeah…LOVE IT.
With that out of the way let me tell you I got to fly last week. From Las Vegas to Charleston, South Carolina with a short howdy in Houston. It had been a couple of years since I’ve flown and a lot has changed.
Our adventure started at the economy parking lot. Which was huge. I was dragging my suitcase out of the car and wondering how long a hike it was to the shuttle bus stop when Rosie (my travel companion and awesome daughter) said “The bus is here”. Yay bus. The driver actually waited for me to schlep over to him.
Once in terminal we checked our bags and started a trek past strategically placed stores to the TSA minions. We had been warned about allowing an hour for SECURITY PROCESSING, but there was no line. I was thinking about videoing Rosie going through the full body scanner when we were sidetracked to the good ol’ metal detector. In, out and through in less than two minutes. It took longer to wait for our junk to come out of the x-ray machine. Watching the process, it did look like the cute chicks were sent through the full body scanner and the families with small children were bypassed. Is this profiling? It gave me a weird feeling that I was watching some modern day version of RAMP SELECTION.
We got to our gate with about an hour to wait. I used the time to people watch. It seems that the flying public has been reduced to sandals although
there were some hold outs and dinosaurs still wearing sneakers. For the record we were wearing CROCS.
Boarding was kinda of fun. Fun if you were handicapped, flying with pet stage children or rich enough to buy an A ticket. We were back in the “B” section. That meant that by the time we were on the aircraft we were in for a mean game of musical chairs. I sent Rosie down the aisle first hoping the cute factor would kick in. This plan failed miserably and she got the last aisle seat in the back. I got the aisle seat in front of her because the lady sitting next to me didn’t want to budge.
By now you know we flew on Southwest. For professional reasons, I was hesitant to climb aboard a 737. The tendency for the aircraft having a sticking rudder actuator or patio seating. I did notice that we got to fly a 700 series so at least it was a new one. With no in-flight movie I settled into some high altitude people watching. It’s been a long time since 1981 when I noticed that fellow passenger pounding away on his watch and said it was a game. On a trip back from the bathroom I counted not less than six iPads showing six different movies. Among them I recognized …
I also note that a baseball game broke out in the row in front of me. Two kids linked their PSP’s together and it was MLB The Show. Cincinnati versus New York. I had fun watching the game and it ate up a lot of flight time.
Aside from the landing when we returned to Vegas (which I can only describe as an impact), I enjoyed flying Southwest and would again. Be sure to pack a lunch.