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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Emergency landing for UMass hoops team


A chartered plane carrying the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team made an emergency landing in Albany on Tuesday. No injuries were reported.

According to UMass sports information spokesman Jason Yellin, who was on the plane, the team took off on a chartered flight from Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, bound for their Wednesday night game in Olean, N.Y., against St. Bonaventure. He said that "smoke in the cockpit" forced the unexpected landing about 15 minutes into the flight.

"I was sitting in the first row seat and I smelled something strange," UMass coach Derek Kellogg told's Andy Katz by phone from Albany's airport. "The pilot came on about 10 minutes into the flight and said they were having problems and we had to make an emergency landing in Albany and that there was smoke in the cockpit. There was a strange odor. I tried to make sure the guys were calm and the crew did a good job of keeping everyone calm."

Kellogg said the descent was normal, but there was definitely concern from the people on the plane. He said there was nervousness, but "Thank God, we landed safely."

"When we landed and saw 10-15 fire trucks your first thought is that this was much more serious than you thought," Kellogg said.

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