An Allegiant Air flight leaving Cedar Rapids for Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon July 4 was forced to return and make an emergency landing after smoke was reported shortly after takeoff.

According to the Gazette, pilots safely brought the jet back to Eastern Iowa Airport with 157 passengers aboard "out of an abundance of caution" and landed within 20 minutes after the original departure.

The airline said a mechanical issue was the reason for the return and passengers reported smelling smoke and noticing a smokey haze in the cabin.

The Gazette quoted passenger Chris Pelton who said “The plane started taking off and my wife started smelling an electrical smoke...we looked around as we were taking off and started seeing haze from smoke."

The Gazette report continued "Frustrated passengers took to social media describing being kept on the plane for nearly an hour after landing despite smoke in the cabin, no air conditioning and blistering heat on a day Cedar Rapids was under a heat advisory with the heat index reaching 100 to 105 degrees."

The Las Vegas-based carrier has been criticized in the past few years for mechanical issues causing diverted flights and emergency landings. Allegiant employees were working to reroute passengers as quickly as possible to their destinations.

[source: The Gazette]