PORTLAND — A commercial airline flight to Chicago had to be canceled tonight after the jet’s pilot noticed smoke coming from the cockpit’s control panel.

Paul Bradbury, director of the Portland International Jetport, said 47 passengers on a United flight bound for Chicago had to be evacuated from the jet after the pilot saw smoke coming from the avionics panel.

The jet is an Embraer regional jet, which is produced in Brazil.

Passengers were still boarding – a few had been seated and had placed their carry on bags in overhead compartments – when they were told to leave the plane around 6:45 p.m.

The jetport’s air rescue team responded, but could not find any evidence of a fire inside the plane, said Portland Deputy Fire Chief Scott Thomes.

Thomes said the smoke was likely generated by a short circuit in the cockpit. The plane was taken out of service for the evening to give mechanics more time to check the airplane out.

Some of the passengers were able to find other flights to Chicago Monday night while many passengers will be forced to fly out of Portland on Tuesday morning, Bradbury said.

“The jet was still connected to the (boarding) bridge,” Bradbury said. “If this was going to happen, then this was a good place for it to happen.”