February 21, 2003

Incident at Gander Oceanic Airspace

At 0012Z, just west of 45N 40W,a Boeing 747 en route from Norfolk to Napoli reported an indication of a fire in the cargo hold. The aircraft requested and received a re-clearance to Kennedy. The aircraft exited the Gander Oceanic FIR at approximately 0030Z without any further incident. At 0030Z, the same aircraft declared an emergency and requested a clearance to land in Gander. The aircraft was re-cleared by Gander Oceanic Control. The flight landed in Gander at 0147Z without further incident. The fire indication originated from the fwd cargo hold. One bottle was fired after touchdown. A further visual inspection outside and inside revealed no fire on board. TSB - Case Closed - More to Follow
TSB UPDATE: A03A0028: EIA479, an Evergreen Boeing 747 was en route from Norfolk to Naples when the flight crew reported a fire indication in the cargo hold. The crew then requested and received a clearance to New York. Just after the aircraft exited Canadian airspace, the crew contacted Gander Radio, declared an emergency and requested a clearance to divert to Gander; the aircraft was re-cleared to Gander by the Gander oceanic controller. The aircraft landed safely at Gander without further incident. Maintenance personnel visually inspected the cargo hold and were not able to find any evidence of fire. It was determined that the fire indication had been false. The aircraft departed Gander later the same morning and exited Canadian airspace without further incident.