An Emirates B777-300 has made an emergency diversion after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit, but mystery surrounds the reason.
Flight EK652 was flying over the Arabian Sea from Dubai to Male in the Maldives on Tuesday with 309 passengers aboard, when the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.
The captain decided to divert to Mumbai. While approaching Mumbai, flight crew advised the airport that the smoke had dissipated, the Aviation Herald reported.
The flight landed safely and a check by emergency services found no trace of fire, heat or smoke.
The airline reported that the flight diverted because of a technical fault and remained on the ground for about five hours before departing for its original destination, Male.
The Hindustan Times newspaper, however, said the emergency stopover was caused by “smoke discharged from a bread-maker”. One of the largest newspapers in India (founded in 1924), the Hindustan Times should be well placed to know. It has a Mumbai edition and an office in the city.
“The crew as per the safety procedure switched off the power supply in the Boeing 777-300 aircraft’s pantry section and sought permission from the Mumbai air traffic control (ATC) to land on priority,” the paper reported.
The Hindustan Times reported that a full emergency was declared, with fire tenders, ambulances and airfield safety vehicles standing ready and set to deliver immediate help.
“Emirates can confirm that on 26 July 2016, flight EK652 from Dubai to Male was diverted to Mumbai due to a technical fault,” the airline said in an issued statement.
“The aircraft landed and passengers safely disembarked. Emirates apologise for the inconvenience. The health and safety of our crew and passengers is of paramount importance.”
The question remains as to whether Emirates – or any other airline – has bread-makers aboard. Bread is generally prepared on the ground and loaded by catering, in Emirates’ case by Emirates Flight Catering in Dubai.
Bread-maker machines, increasingly popular, sell for about AUD 200.
Written by Peter Needham