Emergency services rushed to Christchurch International Airport after reports of a "strange odour" on a plane.
The Jetstar flight to Wellington from Christchurch had to turn around because of what a passenger, Fairfax NZ reporter Keith Lynch, described as a "strange odour".
The flight had since been cancelled because of "engineering issues" and passengers were scrambling to get afternoon flights, Lynch said.
The aircraft left Christchurch at 7.30am and a flight attendant reported a "musky kind of smell" coming from the main compartment of the plane.
Lynch said the seatbelt sign had just come on for landing when the pilot said on the speaker that they were going to abort the journey and return to Christchurch.
The incident was "a little bit unsettling", but all passengers had disembarked safely and two Fire Service members had boarded the plane, he said.
Christchurch man David, who wanted only his first named used, failed to make a funeral at which he would be a
He tried to arrange alternative flights, but they would not arrive in time for his cousin's funeral at 1pm.
"Life does this to you. I'll just go home, make some coffee and shake my head," he said.
Fran Gardner, who going to Wellington for a conference, said she smelt a "very faint" odour, "more like hot temperature on a fabric".
Fellow passenger Kris was on her way to Wellington for her husband's grandfather's funeral. He died at 99.
"It's at 2pm. I don't think I'm going to make it. He [my husband] is there. He'll be going to the funeral in his
undies 'cos I have his clothes," she said.
Christchurch woman Ann Murphy was travelling with her father, Tony Murphy, 86, to meet her 10-week-old granddaughter, Isla. It was Tony's first time to see the baby.
"We are pretty disappointed, but you have to be safe," Ann said.
Tim Bloy, who was sitting near an engine, described the smell as "burning toast".
"It was quite mild. I definitely smelt something when we took off. It smelt like burning."
Bloy, who was travelling to Wellington for a meeting, said he was not overly concerned by the turnaround.
Fire communications shift manager Brent Dunn said earlier that the standby alert was received at 8am.
"There is a little bit of smoke in the cockpit of an A320 which is due to land in a few minutes," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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