A U.S-bound plane was forced to make an emergency landing after ‘smoke was detected in the lavatory’. The Pakistan International Airlines aircraft was en route to New York from Manchester Airport when an indicator signalled possible smoke in the toilet.
As the Boeing 777 was flying over Northern Ireland, the captain radioed Air Traffic Control for permission to make an unscheduled landing at Shannon Airport. It had set out from Manchester at 1.37pm on Saturday for its six-and-a-half-hour journey to New York, but landed in Northern Ireland less than two hours later.
According to the Aviation Herald, the decision was taken due to the ‘lavatory smoke indication, and that the crew said there had been ‘an indication only, there was no confirmation of actual smoke’. And AirLive.net, who monitor and report on aviation news on Twitter, says that the plane was forced to ‘dump fuel’ before landing at Shannon after ‘smoke in the lavatory’.
When an emergency or diversion is required for an aircraft, the standard procedure is often to reduce the weight in order to make a safe landing.
So the plane is forced to burn off fuel by circling, or if the emergency is more serious, it will have to release the fuel into the air, usually over water.