Shorts SD3-60-100, EI-SMB
The aircraft was conducting a Royal Mail cargo flight from Edinburgh to Kinloss at night. The weather was good with a surface wind from 180º at 10-15 kt. Runway 12 was in use. A few minutes after takeoff, the commander smelt something unusual. A visual inspection of the cargo area, through the cockpit door, revealed a white vapour coming from under the cargo net and filling the cargo area. This was assumed to be smoke; however, there were no warnings on the central warning panel. ATC were informed of the fire on board the aircraft and an immediate return to Edinburgh was requested. During the approach a further visual inspection showed that the cargo section was now full of a dense white smoke. The check list for a Cargo Fire was completed and crew oxygen masks and goggles were made available. During the final approach, another inspection of the cargo area showed that the smoke had now cleared. The aircraft landed without further incident, was brought to a halt on the runway and shutdown. The Airport Fire Service (AFS) were immediately in attendance and the crew evacuated the aircraft. The aircraft was inspected by the AFS with a thermal imaging camera. This revealed no signs of heat or fire within the aircraft. All packages within the cargo hold appeared normal and showed no signs of damage. The contents of the cargo could not be identified as no shipper’s declaration was available. A declaration was not required since there were no dangerous goods on board. The cargo was off loaded, during which nothing untoward was found on the aircraft which would have caused the smoke in the cabin. It was then taken by road to Inverness where it was held separately at the sorting office. Upon a visual external search of all the packages no evidence of any leakage or damage to packaging was found. It has therefore not been possible to identify the source of the smoke or vapour which caused the crew to believe that they had a fire on board the aircraft.
Shorts SD3-60-100, EI-SMB 8-05.pdf (57.57 kb)