Faulty smoke detector blamed for September emergency landing

Passengers stand on the grass by the tarmac at Orlando International Airport after the Cayman Airways jet they were travelling in made an emergency landing on 8 Sept.

Cayman Airways confirmed Friday that an emergency diversion of New York flight KX792 to Orlando International Airport in early September was prompted by a fault in the cargo compartment’s smoke detection system, which activated a fire warning system on the flight deck.

The airline reported that approximately an hour and a half into the flight on 8 Sept,, an emergency landing was declared because a warning light indicated the presence of smoke in one of the plane’s cargo holds. The flight landed safely in Orlando.

Cayman Airways said the 103 passengers and five crew-members on board evacuated through the emergency over-wing exits and deployed door chutes and slides. Emergency personnel were present but cleared all passengers and crew to the terminal and no medical attention was required.

The aircraft was temporarily removed from service while the necessary repairs were carried out, CAL said in a statement.

In a response to a query from the Cayman Compass, airline president and CEO Fabian Whorms said Cayman Airways‘ Safety Department conducted a thorough investigation and determined that the faulty smoke detection system had activated the warning light.

“The Captain’s actions to divert the flight and evacuate the aircraft after landing were determined to be appropriate under the circumstances, despite it later being found that no actual smoke or fire was the cause of the warning to the crew.” Whorms said.

He added that CAL engineering personnel replaced the faulty component and the aircraft has been returned to service.

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