Cayman Airways Boeing 737 Diverts To Orlando With Cargo Smoke Warning

A Cayman Airways Boeing 737 has had to make an emergency landing in Orlando yesterday, September 9th. The crew took the decision to divert after smoke was detected in the cargo hold.

Cayman Airways Boeing 737-300. Photo: Oscar Josué Elvir Vasquez via Wikimedia

What are the details?

Cayman Airways Flight KX-792 from Grand Cayman (In the Cayman Islands) to New York JFK airport has had to divert to Orlando Airport after their cargo smoke detector was tripped. The flight was operated by a Boeing 737-300.

The flight was carrying 103 passengers and five crew when they received the warning. As Orlando was the closest airport at the time, they decided to divert there just in case.

The Flight Aware tracker of the flight. Photo: Flight Aware

Upon successfully landing on the runway, the aircraft was fully evacuated with slides with fire trucks arriving on the scene. Passengers were corralled together and sent to the airport as emergency services examined the aircraft.

Inspecting the aircraft themselves they discovered no signs of fire, smoke or even heat. Turns out that it was a false alarm and that no one on board was in any danger.

What has been the airlines’ reaction?

According to the Aviation Herald, who first broke this story, “The airline reported the aircraft was evacuated due to the uncertainty of what caused the indication.”

In a statement published by Sam Chui, the Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms had this to say.

“We are extremely mindful that this emergency landing and evacuation was a very distressing event. On behalf of Cayman Airways, I offer a most sincere apology to our passengers for having to experience this emergency landing and evacuation, which was necessary in the interest of the safety of our passengers and crew.  We have removed the affected aircraft from service indefinitely in order to accomplish the required repairs.”

Since the event, passengers (quite shaken I’m sure) were put up in a hotel overnight before continuing to their destination onboard another aircraft. The plane itself will be looked over again and will return to service as soon as possible.

A Boeing 737-300 in Cayman Airways livery. Photo: Tiger2gator via Wikimedia

Who is Cayman Airways?

Cayman Airways is a small carrier that is based out of the hub airport of  Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town, Grand Cayman. It operates services to 12 destinations, with its fleet of nine aircraft.

Its fleet is made up of three Boeing 737-300 aircraft (one of which is involved in this incident), two Saab 340B+ regional jets, and two De Havilland Canada DHC 6–300 Twin Otters. The airline also has two grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and with another two MAX aircraft on order, the carrier is one of the many victims of the worldwide 737 MAX groundings.

What do you think? Did the pilots take the right action? Let us know in the comments.