According to Action News, the plane carrying FLOTUS and a pool of reporters returned to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Wednesday morning after ten minutes in the air.
Reports from the cabin suggested that Secret Service officers hopped up from their seats and headed towards the front rows, seconds before a thin haze of smoke became clearly visible.
BREAKING: Smoke and burning smell reported on Melania Trump's flight to Philadelphia after “mechanical issue," per pool.— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 17, 2018
Flight returning to Andrews. Press brought wet towels, told to hold them over their faces if smell became too strong.
Smell and smoke have since dissipated.
A crew member said the issue stemmed from "a malfunctioning comms unit" that had overheated, but the White House has not confirmed the data.
Plane carrying First Lady Melania Trump developed a technical problem just minutes after takeoff en route to #Philadelphia. Pool reporters aboard reported of smelling 'something burning', the aircraft turned back and landed safely in Andrews Air force base. pic.twitter.com/4xI1QkIfLZ— Ahmed Kosar (@AhmedKosar1) October 17, 2018
After mere minutes, the smoke reportedly cleared and the disturbing smell was no longer in the air.
"Minor mechanical issue. Everything is fine and everyone is safe," Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's Communications Director, said in a statement.
The first lady was traveling to Philadelphis as part of her "Be Best" children's welfare campaign, to meet with the families of children who had been exposed to dangerous opioids while still in the womb.