PAL flight returns to Davao after smoke detected

A Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight bound for Manila, operating as flight PR-1814, made an emergency landing at Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City after the aircraft's systems detected smoke in the cargo compartment.

The aircraft was instructed to park at the old ramp, which serves as an isolation ramp for emergencies. (Photo from TV Patrol Southern Mindanao via Facebook)

The Airbus A321-231, carrying 131 passengers and 6 crew members, departed Davao at 1:07 PM, following a 1 hour and 27-minute delay.

Shortly after takeoff, pilots detected potential smoke within the cargo hold and immediately contacted Mactan Center for instructions.

The flight was directed to return to Davao, landing safely at 1:33 PM.

As a precaution, Davao City's Central 911 and airport fire and rescue teams were on site. Passengers were disembarked and all cargo was offloaded while a technical inspection took place.

Airport fire fighting and rescue personnel stood by while luggage were offloaded from the plane. (Photo from TV Patrol Southern Mindanao via Facebook) 

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said:

The aircraft is now parked at the old terminal for technical evaluation, assessment and investigation.

Affected passengers, including Dr. Elenita Binay, Representative Mark Villar, and Representative Pax Mangudadatu, were rebooked on the next available flight.

Just weeks prior, Davao International Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines conducted an emergency landing drill to ensure both personnel and passengers are prepared in the event of such situations.