Ann Romney’s plane makes emergency landing in Denver

Posted on: 2:49 pm, September 21, 2012, by , updated on: 09:47pm, September 21, 2012

DENVER – The campaign plane carrying Ann Romney, the wife of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, made an emergency landing in Denver around 2:25 Friday afternoon, the campaign reported via Twitter.

Andrea Saul, the campaign’s press secretary, tweeted: “.@AnnDRomney plane makes emergency landing in CO. All okay. Thank goodness.”

Another tweet from the campaign’s Ryan Williams described the plane as “filled with smoke.” People on the plane said there was an electrical fire.

The FAA said in a statement that the charter flight operated by World Wide Jet diverted to Denver after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit.

The pilot had a calm, but urgent message for air traffic controllers:
PILOT: Denver center worldwide 12, we’d like to be vectored for Denver.  We have an electrical issue here, and we’re going to declare an emergency.
PILOT: Worldwide 12, we’re going to request a fire truck please.
PILOT: We’ll probably need assistance here we got smoke in the cabin and we’re gonna see the severity of it and we’ll let you know.

Emergency vehicles met the plane, a Canadair CL-60 regional jet, on the runway. Denver firefighters did not find smoke on board when they entered the plane. They said it was likely a flash fire.

Ann Romney was on her way from Omaha, Nebraska, where she held a fundraiser Friday morning, to Santa Monica, California.

The FAA said the plane landed safely on runway 35L and passengers evacuated the aircraft using stairs on a taxiway.

DIA spokeswoman Laura Cole says emergency responders from Denver Fire, Denver Police and airport operations responded to the jet.

“Signature Flight Support provided a shuttle for the passengers and the aircraft was towed off the runway. All airport operations are normal,” Cole said.

She and Mitt Romney spoke by phone immediately after the plane landed, Saul tweeted later. Mitt Romney then spoke at an event in Las Vegas.

For updates, follow @EliStokols on Twitter.