Friday 13 December 2019

Jet forced to make emergency landing at Dublin Airport as smoke and fumes detected on board

Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport

By Pat Flynn

A transatlantic passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing at Dublin Airport tonight after smoke and fumes were detected on board.

United Airlines flight UA-925 was en route from London’s Heathrow Airport to Washington in the US when the crew declared an emergency over the Irish Sea. There were 140 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777-200(ER) jet.

About 45 minutes into the flight the crew was forced to don their oxygen masks after reporting there was smoke and fumes on the flight-deck and in the forward cabin area.

An inspection by cabin crew revealed no visible evidence of fire however.

The jet was cruising at 36,000 feet and had just crossed the Welsh coast over Bardsey Island when the crew alerted air traffic controllers to their emergency at around 5.45pm.

After requesting clearance to divert to Dublin the crew also sought permission to dump fuel so that they could land within safe landing weight limits. The ‘fuel jettison procedures’ took several minutes and resulted in several tonnes of aviation fuel being dumped before the jet could commence it’s approach to land.

Airport crash crews were alerted and mobilised to designated holding points along the runway ahead of the jet’s arrival.

After completing the fuel dump over north county Dublin, the crew commenced their emergency approach to Dublin’s secondary runway at around 6.00pm.

However, just moments before landing the crew aborted the approach because of poor weather and went around for a second attempt and Dublin’s main runway.

In the meantime, several aircraft on approach to Dublin were placed in holding patterns to allow the emergency aircraft a priority landing.

Shortly before landing the crew confirmed to controllers that there were “no visible flames just some smoke.”

Flight UA-925 landed safely at 6.16pm and was quickly pursued along the runway by emergency crews.

The crew confirmed that they would continue to the terminal building but requested fire crews to remain with the aircraft so that the source of the smoke could be investigated.

Normal operations resumed at Dublin resumed once an inspection of the runway had been completed following the emergency landing.

In February last year, a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 diverted to Shannon Airport after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.

Flight UA-935 from London Heathrow to Los Angeles was about 500 kilometres west of Shannon when the crew turned around and diverted. There were 182 passengers and 10 crew on board.

The crew dumped fuel before touching down safely at Shannon about 45 minutes later.

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