YARMOUTH, N.S. – A CP-140 Aurora aircraft made an emergency landing at the Yarmouth International Airport on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 16, after the airport was told the crew had detected a smell of smoke in the cockpit.
There were no injuries and any emergency dissipated quickly by the time the plane was down safely on the runway.
Airport manager Mike Fields said the tower operator in Yarmouth received a call from Moncton Air Traffic Control alerting the airport that an Aurora was going to touch down very quickly at the Yarmouth airport.
“They had smoke in the cockpit, no fire, and they were inbound to our runway,” Fields said about what they were told. “From there we launched our emergency response action plan and called 911. All the first responders responded appropriately.”
Responding were RCMP, the Yarmouth Fire Department and EHS. Within less than half an hour all first responders had cleared the scene.
Capt. Matt Zalot, public affairs officer from 14 Wing Greenwood, had very few details about the incident shortly after it occurred.
“I can tell you there was an in-plane emergency,” Capt. Zalot said. “The aircraft, the Aurora, was about 40 nautical miles away from Yarmouth. They were able to use their training and take evasive action and they landed at the airport without further incident.”
Capt. Zalot said there will be a flight safety investigation to determine the facts of exactly what happened. He couldn’t confirm, at the time of the interview, the smell of smoke in the cockpit as he said he hadn’t received a lot of details as of yet.
The Aurora was conducting training in the region. Capt. Zalot said the crew would be brought back to Greenwood with a new crew sent to Yarmouth to fly the Aurora back once the clearance had been given.
Meanwhile, Fields said although the incident wasn’t more serious, the airport was prepared. He said three years ago the airport reworked its emergency response action plan and has done training exercises and tabletop exercises on several different types of scenarios. He said given the training with local emergency responders and the plan that is in place, things went very smooth.
“Communications was very smooth. The protocol was followed perfectly and within five minutes it was totally executed,” he said, also noting the significance of the location of the airport.
“We are strategically located between the US border and Halifax,” he said. “Having the airport here up and running is very important.”
Although the main runway 0624 is closed to normal airport traffic, it is available for emergencies.
In this case the airport’s second runway was used for the Aurora to land on.
“It is long enough and it was available for them to use and would suffice for any aircraft emergency that we have in the area,” Fields said.