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Flight diverted to Medford

A flight from Portland to Los Angeles was diverted to Medford Friday morning after the smell of smoke was reported in the cabin.

Sixty-six people, including the passengers and crew members, spent about an hour and a half waiting in Medford while the regional jet was checked, then continued on their way, said Kim Stearns, an airport spokeswoman.

The CRJ700 jet operated by Horizon Air reported the problem at 9:25 a.m. and landed safely seven minutes later, Stearns said.

"It was a precautionary diversion," she explained.

Flight 2605 had left Portland about 8:30 a.m. and Medford was the closest airport when it began experiencing complications, including the smell and temperature and pressurization problems, officials said.

Upon landing, the plane was met by crews from the airport's fire department, with Medford Fire Department arriving within moments, Stearns said. Jackson County Fire District No. 5 also was summoned, but the plane had landed safely and those crews were sent back to their station before even getting to the airport.

"When it's a commercial flight with a problem, we call everyone," Stearns said. "We're so grateful for all the emergency services."

All of the passengers and flight crew members got off the plane and ground crews unloaded all baggage and cargo, Stearns said.

Firefighters checked the plane, examining it with a thermal imaging camera, but reported finding nothing outside the ordinary.

A mechanic checked the plane and cleared it to continue to Los Angeles, Stearns said. It departed Medford shortly after 11 a.m.

Although the Horizon Air Web site noted that the flight was "not operating as scheduled," it reported the flight landed at Los Angeles International Airport at 12:32 p.m., about two hours after the regularly scheduled arrival time.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.

Passengers and crew of a Los Angles bound Horizon flight were greeted by Medford firefighters after their plane was diverted To Medford by a report of smoke detected during the fight from Portland. Bob Pennell / Mail Tribune photo - Bob Pennell