A FedEx Express Boeing MD-11F registration N579FE performing flight FX-5062 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Bangalore, India, declared a full emergency after receiving a fire indication in the lower belly cargo hold, and diverted to Mumbai, CSI airport.
The aircraft landed safely at 18:24 local (12:54 UTC) and after inspection the alarm was found to be false. The full emergency conditions at Mumbai airport were withdrawn at 18:56 (13:26 UTC).
The aircraft is still at Mumbai airport at the time of this report.
The airline released a statement to Bangalore Aviation
The FedEx flight Fx 5062 made an emergency landing into Mumbai (BOM) at 18.34 p.m. on October 22, 2010 due to a fire indication in the lower belly compartment of the aircraft. Normal safety procedures were followed and the flight landed safely at Mumbai (BOM) airport; the aircraft and the crew are safe.
On detailed inspection of the aircraft, no fire was detected. Currently, further investigation is underway.
No disruption occurred at Mumbai (BOM) airport.
False alarms are not an unusual occurrence in air cargo operations and prudence is a must. Last year a Singapore Airlines freighter to Amsterdam, had its fire suppression system activated due to emanations from mangoes.
Just last month, a UPS Boeing 747-400 freighter crashed at Dubai killing Capt. Doug Lampe and First Officer Matthew Bell. The preliminary report of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority indicates the pilots reporting smoke in the cockpit prior to that tragic crash.