|Air France Boeing 777 returned back to Saint-Denis due to smoke in cockpit. Photo: Flickr|
An Air France Boeing 777-300 returned back to Saint-Denis de La Réunion on July 11th after declaring a mid-flight emergency after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.
The aircraft was operating flight AF-671 from Reunion (Reunion) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France). The aircraft was carrying 468 people on board the aircraft.
The Boeing 777-300, with registration F-GSQP was delivered to Air France back in June, 2006 and is currently 14.1 years old.
|The Boeing 777 was 14.1 years old. Photo: Air France|
The Boeing 777 was enroute at FL320 about 1160nm north northeast of Reunion when the crew detected the smoke and decided to turn around and return back to Saint-Denis de La Réunion Airport for an emergency landing.
The crew then descended to FL270 and landed safely back about 4:45 hours after departure. The flight was postponed for 24 hours.
Air France reported that the plane returned back to Reunion due to a technical problem, but no further information has been released.
|The aircraft is still on ground in Reunion. Photo: Air France|
However, the airline did not mentioned what led to the aircraft’s return back to Reunion. However, local media reported discovery of smoke in the cockpit as the cause.
The problem must have been serious enough that forced the crew to return back. Currently, the aircraft remains on the ground in Saint-Denis.
The detection of smoke and fumes during flight causes diversions and delays, these incidents onboard rarely cause critical situations. No injuries were reported in this Air France flight also.
|Smoke-related problems cause critical situations. Photo: Airbus|
Smoke-related incidents take place time and often in a plane’s cockpit. In the last eight weeks, Vision Safe reported a total of 11 smoke-related incidents.
Smoke witnessed in the cabins and cockpit of an aircraft is usually an oil-based fume rather than a plume of combustible material. It is a major safety concern anywhere on board an aircraft.
|Mostly electrical malfunction causes smoke. Photo: American Airlines|
According to Skybrary, the following are typical causes of cabin smoke:
* Failure and malfunctions of electrical equipment
* Overheating of electrical and mechanical equipment due to malfunctions of control systems
* Spillage of mechanical fluids on hot surfaces
* Spillage of foodstuffs on galley ovens
* Ground impact fires
However, in this incident, the airline did not disclose the exact cause of the smoke on board the aircraft.
What do you think might have happened? Have you ever been on flights that reported smoke? Feel free to share with us in the comments below: