A Helvetic Embraer E190 Returned To Milan With Smoke In The Cabin

A Helvetic Embraer ERJ-190 returned to Milan Malpensa airport shortly after takeoff during its flight to Zurich on 24th August. The crew reported smoke in the cabin before taking the decision to make a safe landing.

Helvetic Embraer E190
The Helvetic Embraer E190 had to make an unexpected stop. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

AV Herald report that aircraft registration HB-JVN, performing flight LX-1629 on behalf of Swiss was leaving Malpensa’s runway 35R. The crew then stopped the flight’s climb at around FL080 due to the unexpected smoke.

Safe landing

The Embraer remained on the ground for around 4.5 hours. It was then positioned to its intended destination of Zurich Airport under flight 2L-9529. In Switzerland, it remained on the ground for another 39 hours before returning to service.

A spokesperson for the Switzerland based airline informed us that there were no injuries during the incident.

“The air conditioning system (Air Cycle Machine) encountered a technical problem and shortly generated some smoke in the cabin. There was no danger at any time for the 31 passengers and 5 crew members on board. The aircraft landed then normally in Malpensa.”

Helvetic Embraer E190 midflight
The crew handled the situation with nobody harmed on board. Photo: D. Reust via Wikimedia Commons
Embraer will no doubt will be looking into the cause of the air conditioning fault with the airline. The Brazilian planemaker only just celebrated its 50th Birthday this month. It was the brainchild of the Brazilian government who wanted to develop projects for both civilians and the military.
In 1997, Embraer was privatized and sold away to the share market. Within the last year, they have worked on a partnership with Boeing. It was announced that the US based aircraft producer would be purchasing 80% stake in Embraer’s commercial aviation section.

Unexpected events

Earlier this month, there was another incident involving a Swiss airline on a journey connected to Zurich. Two Swiss International Airlines Airbus A321s were struck by lightning near Zurich airport on 6 August.

The first event concerned HB-IOD which was operating LX724 to Amsterdam. The second involved aircraft HB-IOF operating LX2084 to Lisbon. Both aircraft landed safely after crew made the decision to return to the airport.

Malpensa also saw an unexpected landing following a mid-flight incident. A Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A320neo on a route from Copenhagen to Nice had to divert to the Milan based airport. This was due to crew detecting indications of a possible fuel leak.

A Helvetic Embraer E190 at Zurich Airport.
The Helvetic aircraft eventually arrived at Zurich Airport after 4.5 hours. Photo: Raimond Spekking via Wikimedia Commons

Crew appreciation

Despite careful planning and production, incidents such as these could happen at any time. However, the flight crew and the ground staff have managed to handle these situations safely.

The crew are often overlooked when it comes to successfully handling inflight incidents. Negative experiences with flight staff members around the world, in contrast, are widely reported in the media.

This often gives an impression of poor customer service of certain airlines. Yet the staff of the airlines in these events showed how to effectively handle sensitive situations by implementing correct procedures.