The Massachusetts men’s basketball team made an emergency landing on Tuesday during its flight to Saint Bonaventure out of Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Mass. No one was injured.
According to UMass Athletics spokesperson Jason Yellin, about 20 minutes into the flight those on board believed they smelled smoke. Within seconds, the flight attendant said they had to make an emergency exit because there was smoke in the cockpit.
At about 8:30 pm, UMass coach Derek Kellogg posted a Youtube video, found here, explaining the situation to all the fans, friends and family wondering about them.
“For all our UMass fans, family and friends, your team, coaching stuff and all our support staff are safe and sound after an interesting day here,” Kellogg said.
“Happily everybody is safe and we’re looking forward to a big time game tomorrow night,” Kellogg continued. “Just know that the team and everybody’s safe and sound.”
Yellin said that he never had an experience where the plane landed as quickly as this flight.
The team landed on the ground in Albany where firemen and fire engines greeted them. From there, the Minutemen went to a terminal at Million Air, a private aviation operator, to charter a plane.
The plane they are chartering is dropping the Villanova men’s basketball team off at Providence before heading back to pick up the Maroon and White. According to Kellogg, an expected arrival time at SBU is around 11 pm tonight.
The plane will take them to Bradford, Pa., which was there original destination and is just south of Olean, N.Y., which the Bonnies call home.
Following the diverted landing, UMass coach Derek Kellogg posted on Twitter that the team was “all safe and sound in Albany.”
According to another post by Kellogg on Twitter, the team began practice a little early by using a shoe instead of a ball.
Stay with DailyCollegian.com as more details on this developing story emerge.
Herb Scribner can be reached at email@example.com.