Flight forced to make emergency landing in Dublin after crew report fumes and mist in toilet
A flight from Knock to the UK was forced to make an emergency landing in Dublin this evening after the crew reported smoke in the toilet.
Flybe flight BE-664 had just departed Ireland West Airport in Knock and was almost directly overheard Longford town when the crew issued a Pan-Pan radio distress call.
The Bombardier 'Dash 8' turboprop plane left Knock at 5.11pm and was en route to Manchester at the time. The aircraft was still climbing to it’s cruising altitude and had almost reached a height of 19,000 feet when the crew initially reported a problem.
The crew, who had been in contact with air traffic controllers in Shannon, reported they had smoke in the toilet and requested clearance to descend to 10,000ft.
The crew also asked controllers what airport was closest to them so they could decide what their best option was. Soon afterwards, the pilot requested permission to divert to Dublin.
While on approach to Dublin, air traffic controllers lost radio contact with the emergency aircraft for a short time however communications were re-established soon afterwards. Its understood the crew may have been busy preparing for their emergency landing at the time.
The crew later advised controllers that they had ‘fumes’ and a ‘mist’ on the flight-deck rather than smoke. Its also believed that the smoke may have originated in a toilet close to the flight-deck.
Several inbound aircraft were placed in holding patterns over the Irish Sea while the emergency aircraft was given priority clearance.
Emergency services were standing by on taxiways adjacent to the main runway when the plane touched down safely at 5.41pm.
Accompanied by a fleet of emergency vehicles, the plane was able to taxi from the runway to the terminal where fire crews and engineers carried out an inspection.
While the source of the smoke has not been confirmed its believed that no fire was found.
Operations at Dublin returned to normal once a runway inspection had been completed.
In a statement, the airline said: "Flybe can confirm that the captain of the flight travelling to Manchester from Knock took the decision to divert to Dublin Airport following an activation of the toilet smoke alarm. As is standard industry procedure, the airport placed its emergency vehicles on standby."
"The aircraft landed without incident and the 74 passengers disembarked normally after it had taxied to stand. The aircraft is currently being inspected by engineers to investigate the reason for the alert and passengers will be re-accommodated on the next available flight,” the airline said.
"Flybe apologises for any inconvenience experienced but the safety of its passengers and crew is the airline’s number one priority,” the company added.