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Monday, 14 February 2011

Airbus Updates No.71/11

Incident: Air Mauritius A343 over Indian Ocean on Feb 11th 2011, smoke alert in cargo hold

By Simon Hradecky, created Sunday, Feb 13th 2011 12:40Z, last updated Monday, Feb 14th 2011 08:36Z
An Air Mauritius Airbus A340-300, registration 3B-NBE performing flight MK-48 from Mauritius (Mauritius) to Frankfurt/Main (Germany), was enroute overhead the Indian Ocean when the crew reported smoke in the cockpit and diverted to Mombasa (Kenya) for a safe landing about 3:45 hours after departure from Mauritius.

A replacement Airbus A340-300 registration 3B-NBJ was dispatched from Mauritius to Mombasa to continue the flight MK-48 scheduled to fly from Mauritius via Frankfurt to Geneva (Switzerland) and return to Mauritius as flight MK-59. 3B-NBJ subsequently flew directly to Geneva reaching Geneva with a delay of 11 hours, then returned to Mauritius - without flying to Frankfurt - as flight MK-5059.

Radar data show 3B-NBE departed Mauritius for flight MK-48 on schedule, while 3B-BNJ (claimed to have been the incident aircraft by some other service) was just on approach to Mauritius following flight MK-749 from Mumbai (India) landing about about half an hour later, then completed the rotation MK-290/MK-291 to Reunion before the aircraft was ferried to Mombasa.

The incident aircraft 3B-NBE returned to Mauritius and resumed service departing to Paris (France) as flight MK-34 40 hours after the departure as MK-48.

Air Mauritius said a smoke alert was triggered in one of the cargo holds prompting the captain to divert to nearest available airport Mombasa. On examination on the ground it appeared the alert was false, the incident aircraft was then ferried back to Mauritius for further checks. The passengers were taken to hotels in Mombasa. In the evening of Feb 11th a special flight was dispatched to Mombasa.

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