Natasha (my daughter) was in Europe and was heading home today for the start of classes. Her plane had to turn around, however, because there was a smoke on board! All the passengers were OK, but the plane had to dump fuel in the sea and go to Amsterdam. She wasn't clear about home much smoke there was, but even a little it unsettling.
This is what appeared recently on one of the news web sites:
KLM's flight 671 en route from Amsterdam to Montreal returned to Schiphol airport this afternoon shortly after taking off at 14:30. The return of the passenger jet was caused by one or more technical problems.
According to the Aviation Herald: "The crew subsequently reported they had smoke in the cabin and cockpit and requested to level off at FL130 and keep close to Amsterdam." Then they returned safely.
Natasha told me that the cabin was filled with grey smoke that was very apparent, and that it was also (more so?) in the cockpit. She said that the crew was running around with fire extinguishers attempting to find the source of the smoke, but without success.
This is the kind of moment when you want a real human pilot on the loop. While autopilots are great for routine flying and never suffer from fatigue, emergencies are not their forte.