A Cargolux 747 flying from Nairobi (Kenya) to Amsterdam in the Netherlands experienced a main deck fire warning while on approach to Schiphol airport. This warning prompted the airport to issue a major alert and the dispatching of emergency services.
Main deck fire warning
On December 26th, a Boeing 747-400 freighter operated by Cargolux was performing flight CV-7156 from Nairobi to Amsterdam. The aircraft had flown almost the entire journey without incident and was on approach to Amsterdam Schiphol’s Runway 06 when a main deck fire warning was triggered.
About to intercept the localizer, The Aviation Herald reports that the crew decided to continue their approach and notified air traffic control that they would be vacating the runway upon landing. Upon notification of the warning, the airport issued a major alert and dispatched emergency services to meet the jumbo jet.
Just a short three minutes after reporting the fire warning, the aircraft touched down on Runway 06 for a safe landing. Moments later, the fire warning was confirmed to be a false alarm. With the aircraft’s crew reporting this to air traffic control, emergency services that were on their way to the airport turned around and returned to their bases.
The aircraft, registered LX-UCV, taxied to the apron about 20 minutes after vacating the runway. The 747 continued with its duties, unloading its goods and then continuing onwards to its next destination at Luxembourg. A total of roughly 100 minutes was spent on the ground in Amsterdam.
Commenters on The Aviation Herald report note that a main deck fire warning from a large aircraft like the 747 would have resulted in the scrambling of an entire fire platoon. Clearly, this is due to the large amount of cargo that can be transported by a 747-400 freighter. It was also noted that bees, flowers, dust, live animal particles, and even gaseous emissions could be detected as ‘smoke,’ thus triggering fire warnings.
Simple Flying reported on another Cargolux fire warning incident in July, also involving one of the airline’s 747-400s.
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About the incident aircraft
Registered as LX-UCV, the incident aircraft is a nearly 18-year-old Boeing 747-400F. This jumbo jet has flown with Cargolux since it was delivered from Boeing in April of 2004. Powered by four Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, data from ch-aviation indicates that the aircraft has accumulated a total of 82,065 flight hours as of August 31st, 2021 over a total of 15,732 flight cycles.
Data from Planespotters.net indicates that the jet is part of the airline’s Cargolux Italia subsidiary and has the nickname “Tre Cime Di Lavaredo.”
Luxembourg-based Cargolux has a total of 30 aircraft in its fleet. All of these aircraft are Boeing 747s with a total average age of 13 years. This subdivides into two types: The 747-400F and the 747-8F.
The airline’s 16 747-400Fs have an average age of 17 years, while its 14 747-8Fs have an average of nine years.
What do you think could have triggered the fire warning on the main deck? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment.