United Airlines 787 Diverts To Remote Pacifc Island After Smell Of Smoke Onboard

A United Airlines 787 flight en route to Los Angeles has been diverted to a remote Pacific island after the cockpit filled with smoke.

The Dreamliner was forced to land in the French colony of Noumea in New Caledonia, dumping fuel into the Pacific before coming to the ground. No passengers or crew were hurt in the incident.

United Airlines 787-9
The jet involved in the incident was one of United’s 787-9 Dreamliners.

What are the details?

United Airlines flight 99 was en route from Melbourne to Los Angeles when some passengers notice smoke coming out of the cockpit.

The plane was only three hours into its overnight trip when the cockpit filled with smoke and the flight crew decided to divert to the nearest airport. Nearest being the small island colony of New Caledonia.

United Airlines
The route of the diverted Dreamliner. Source: Flight Radar

As the plane was carrying enough fuel for a thirteen and a half hour flight, it had to dump fuel before attempting to land. As the cabin was still filling with smoke.

The plane landed safely and passengers were escorted out by emergency crews. No passengers or crew were harmed by the smoke or the landing.

One passenger had this to say to site Flyertalk: Emergency landing here in Noumea, New Caledonia due to smoke in the cockpit. Landed safely without incident. However, it was a bit unsettling to see the aircraft dumping fuel over the ocean before landing. Also, it was my first time seeing the flight attendants demonstrate how to do the “brace position”. Hope to get more info on when we can leave the island (hopefully tomorrow morning). New Caledonia is a beautiful place. United and the people of New Caledonia have taken good care of us.

The passengers have been placed in a local hotel on the tropical island, awaiting another plane to pick them up and take them home. United as not yet released what went wrong with the plane, but it seemed to be completely functional and land perfectly fine. They are currently flying it unoccupied (apart from flight crew) back to the US.

As commentators said on other publications, there are worst places to be stranded in the world (like these passengers on Delta over Christmas last year).

What do you think? Would you want to be stranded on a tropical island? Let us know in the comments.