A major multi-agency response was mounted at Shannon involving the airport’s own fire and rescue service; local authority fire service, National Ambulance Service and gardai. The Irish Coast Guard and RNLI were also alerted

By Pat Flynn

A major multi-agency emergency operation, also involving an RNLI lifeboat, was put in place in Co Clare on Tuesday morning for a cargo aircraft which declared a Mayday over the Atlantic.

The Cargolux Boeing 747-400(ER) jet, which was travelling from Miami in the US to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, was about an hour west of Ireland when the crew declared a Mayday reporting a possible fire in a hold. There were three crew on board.

Once the crew of flight CV-92F had notified air traffic controllers here of their emergency, a major multi-agency response was mounted at Shannon involving the airport’s own fire and rescue service; local authority fire service, National Ambulance Service and gardai. The Irish Coast Guard and RNLI were also alerted.

The flight crew advised controllers that they had a fire alarm on the main deck but they were unable to conduct a visual inspection to confirm whether there was actually a fire on board. The flight was cleared to route to Shannon where emergency procedures had already been implemented.

The airport’s own fire and rescue service was alerted and mobilised while units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Shannon and Ennis stations; ambulance paramedics and gardai were all dispatched to the airport. The Irish Coast Guard placed the Kilrush RNLI lifeboat on ‘immediate readiness’ at its Cappagh base as a precaution.

Shortly before landing, the crew also informed controllers they had no hazardous cargo on board and added they would stop on the runway to carry out an inspection of the aircraft and evacuate on the runway if they found a fire.

The flight landed safely at 5.52am and was quickly pursued along the runway by emergency vehicles. The aircraft stopped on the runway for a time while the crew carried out an inspection to determine whether there was a fire on board. When the crew confirmed there was no fire and that the fire warning light in the cockpit had extinguished, the crew taxied their aircraft to the terminal building still accompanied by emergency crews.

Airport fire crews then carried out their own external and internal visual investigations to ensure there was no evidence of a fire. The cockpit indication appears to have been a false alarm.

This morning’s incident was the second this month involving an aircraft operated by the same cargo carrier.

On February 1st, another Cargolux Boeing 747 made a similar emergency landing at Shannon after the crew reported a fire indication on board. The crew of flight CV-59K also issued a Mayday radio distress call reporting an indication of a fire in the aft (rear) cargo hold however the crew reported no other signs of a fire. The flight landed safely at 5.45am and it was later confirmed there was no fire on board. That flight was carrying a consignment of flowers.

In previous incidents, cargo aircraft have diverted to Shannon with similar fire indications. In a number of cases, it was found that the organic cargo the flights were transporting resulted in the false fire alarms and in some cases, activation of the aircraft’s fire suppression systems.

In 2014, there were three incidents where flights diverted to Shannon after heat from organic materials in the cargo holds activated onboard fire alarms.

In one incident, a consignment of vegetables activated the jets fire alarm and sprinkler systems while in another, the heat from two tonnes of mangos triggered an aircraft’s sensitive fire detection system forcing the flight to divert to Shannon.

https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/flight-makes-emergency-landing-shannon-26297485