JetBlue Airbus A321 Receives Both Cargo Smoke & Engine Fire Warnings

A JetBlue Airbus A321 has had to perform an emergency landing in the Bahamas following warnings of smoke in the cargo hold.

JetBlue A321. Photo: Eric Salard via Wikimedia

This story has been amended with additional details from the carrier.

What are the details?

Following a recent spate of smoke appearing onboard during a flight, the same situation seems to have occurred to a JetBlue Airbus A321.

JetBlue Flight B6-1706, operated by an Airbus A321-200, was flying from Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) to Orlando (USA). The plane was cruising just over the sunny Bahamas when the cockpit was alerted to a possible smoke warning in the cargo hold, so reports The Aviation Herald. 

The six cabin crew, with 174 passengers on board, decided it would be best to land immediately. They radioed for permission at the nearest airport, Nassau.

The route and diversion of the plane. Photo: Flight Radar 24

It took them around another 30 minutes before they were on the ground. According to the New York Post, the evacuation was taking place normally using airstairs, but the captain decided to speed it up and ask remaining passengers to exit via the slides at any door.

“Following consultations with the airport fire department that met the aircraft and with safety top of mind, the captain elected to evacuate the final three dozen customers and crewmembers via slides.” JetBlue said in a statement to Simple Flying

No injuries were reported, and the aircraft is still at Nassau at this current time.

What has been the airlines’ reaction?

Upon inspection, the aircraft was found to have no problems.

Initial inspections of the aircraft found no signs of any issues. The aircraft will be further inspected and customers continued on to Orlando aboard a new aircraft.” continued the statement.

JetBlue sent a replacement A321-200 to pick up the passengers and get them to Orlando.

It does seem a bit funny that two aircraft would experience almost the same problem in the same region of the world within a week of each other (we of course talking about the Cayman Airways emergency landing from earlier this week). Both turned out to be false alarms and fortunately no one was hurt, but it makes one wonder if there is a common situation occurring.

One commentator on the Aviation Herald had this to say:

“Generally, in the case of a false cargo fire warning the sensors functioned exactly as designed. The sensors are not triggered by heat or temperatures but by particles. If there were flowers being transported it is not unusual to have pollen released and get into the cargo compartment and trigger a warning because the sensors have detected particles in the compartment.”

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