American Airlines Boeing 777 Diverts To Bermuda With Reports Of Smoke

The pilots decided to divert to the Atlantic island of Bermuda when the smell of smoke was noticed in the cockpit.

  • American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner From Above

    American Airlines

    IATA / ICAO Code:
    AA / AAL

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub (s):
    Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

    Year Founded:


    Robert Isom

    United States

An American Airlines Boeing 777 diverted to the Island of Bermuda after smelling smoke in the cockpit. The flight had departed Miami and was at cruising altitude en route to London when the incident occurred. The pilots took precautionary measures and diverted to the Atlantic island, which was now behind them. The flight landed safely, and all persons onboard the aircraft were reported safe. Once on the ground, the plane was inspected by maintenance personnel. Passengers waited in the airport for over 20 hours before a replacement aircraft and crew arrived to fly the rest of the journey to London.


Safety diversion

On August 28th, American Airlines flight AA-38 departed Miami International Airport (MIA) at 19:27 EST. The aircraft used for this flight was a Boeing 777 registered N724AN. The flight was en route to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) at flight level 350 when the pilots began noticing the smoke smell. The pilots made the call to land at the nearest suitable airport, which was on the UK-owned island of Bermuda. When this call was made, the aircraft was approximately 450 nautical miles northeast of the island. 65 minutes after turning around, the pilots landed the plane safely on runway 30 at the Bermuda International Airport (BDA). All passengers and cabin crew were accounted for in the terminal.

The aircraft was hundreds of miles to the northeast of Bermuda when it diverted. Photo: FlightAware

Having landed safely, the flight crew was required to take a mandatory rest period per FAA regulations. Meaning that even if the aircraft was promptly repaired, the passengers would have to wait for a replacement flight crew to continue the journey to London. It was not until they had been waiting in the airport for ten hours that the airline provided the passengers with meal vouchers. They stayed in the airport terminal for nearly an entire day before they boarded a replacement 777 registered N731AN sent by the airline. The second attempt to reach Heathrow was successful; it took the 777 6 hours and 36 minutes. It landed at 08:30 BST (+1) on August 29th. The total delay time was over 23 hours.

American Airlines deployed a second 777 to rescue the stranded passengers as promptly as it could. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Maintenance personnel inspected the aircraft once on the ground. The aircraft is still on the ground in Bermuda approximately 33 hours after landing. The airline has not released any details pertaining to the cause of the smell or the state of the aircraft. Simple Flying has reached out to American Airlines regarding the cause of the incident. This article will be updated once a response has been received.

Precautionary measures

The air transit industry has seen record numbers of cancelations and delays this year. Most of which are due to supply chain and staffing shortages. However, mechanical issues have been a common cause of delays since the first airlines took flight. On this flight, the pilots noticed the smell of smoke in the cockpit. This could result from many different hazardous situations. These pilots acted promptly and appropriately. They followed their training and diverted to the nearest airport with a suitable runway. While this action caused the airline and its passengers to be inconvenienced, it was the safest and smartest thing the pilots could have done. It is better to be safe than on time.

What do you think of this incident? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Aviation Herald, Business Insider

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