An Air Canada Rouge flight returned to Vancouver after the Boeing 767-300’s cabin filled with the odor from a shipment of durian fruit – whose odor is often compared to rotting meat.
Details from the flight on Air Canada’s (TSX:AC) low-cost subsidiary emerged in the incident report provided to FreightWaves by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSBC) on October 8.
The troubles arose shortly after the 767 took off from Vancouver International Airport on September 17 with 245 passengers and eight crew, destined for Montreal. Crew members first noticed a “strong odor” while the aircraft was at 7,000 feet above sea level, according to the TSBC report.
The flight crew leveled off at 25,000 feet to troubleshoot the problem after failing to clear the smell from the cabin. They then declared a PAN-PAN, indicating an urgent but not immediately dangerous situation, “donned their oxygen masks and returned to land” in Vancouver, the TSBC report said.
The durian shipment in the forward cargo compartment was identified as the source of the odor and removed from the flight. The aircraft then returned to service. No injuries were reported.
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The 8,100-mile-long Yiwu-Madrid Railway line is the longest in the world, linking China and Spain. Today, the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu announced a new route to the Belgian city of Liege.
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The incident aboard the Air Canada Rouge flight isn’t the first time durian has caused problems as a cargo. The smell from two metric tons led to a temporary grounding of a flight in Indonesia in November 2018.
Needless to say, the airline probably will think twice before accepting a shipment of the prized but noxious fruit.
Hammer down, everyone!