Possible Bomb Threat Prompts Emergency Landing at CHO
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The FBI is investigating a possible bomb threat on a flight from Charlottesville to Chicago.
American Airlines flight #2928, operated by Skywest, took off from the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO) around noon Tuesday.
According to officials, a flight attendant noticed something suspicious on the aircraft and subsequently activated bomb procedures. The flight turned around and safely made an emergency landing at CHO around 12:55 p.m.
Albemarle County police, along with Virginia State Police troopers, responded to help search the plane. Passengers on the flight were held on the plane until approximately 2:40 p.m.
“A lot of people were, like, on their phones before they took them trying to text their loved ones,” said passenger Rickey Wyrick.
FBI agents arrived around 3 p.m. to take over the investigation.
“Once the plane landed, it was put in a safe location in the airport, followed our protocols and safely removed all of our passengers from the plane," said Stephen Duenas with the FBI.
The FBI would not say what kind of threat was received or what that flight attendant saw.
“Everybody's imagination was running wild. Like, we were thinking the worst. You could tell it was a little more serious than what they were telling us because the flight attendant seemed really on edge,” Wyrick said.
FBI agents finished interviewing all 53 passengers and three air crew members on board that plane a little after 5:30 p.m.
The emergency landing closed the airport's taxiways, impacting all afternoon flights as a result. Everything opened back up just after 4 p.m.
The plane itself was put back in to service shortly before 6 p.m.
CHO issued the following statement on their Facebook page:
AIRPORT ALERT 7/7/2015 - 13:35: On or around 12:55 pm, American Airlines flight #2928 (from CHO to Chicago) returned to CHO with 53 passengers and crew on board due to a possible bomb threat. The aircraft has landed safely. Albemarle County and State Police have responded to the scene to assist Airport Public Safety at this time. More information will be provided as we receive it. All flights are delayed until further notice.