An Atlas Air Boeing 747 chartered flight made an emergency landing on Monday. The Poland-bound flight, with over 300 soldiers on board, was said to have made the emergency landing at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport after smoke was reportedly detected onboard.

Although the airline has not confirmed the exact cause of the smoke-related issue, a spokesperson for the airline had this to say:

We can confirm that Flight 5Y8380 landed safely after receiving an indication of a potential abnormality in the cargo compartment soon after departure from Topeka, Kansas (FOE).  The crew followed all standard procedures and safely diverted to Chicago, Illinois (ORD).  As a precautionary measure, Chicago authorities inspected the aircraft upon arrival and determined the aircraft was safe for all passengers to de-plane. Upon further investigation, our team has confirmed that this was a false warning, and the aircraft will return to service.

All Passengers Were Safely Evacuated

Atlas Air makes emergency landing
Atlas Air 747 pushes back in Calgary © Justin Hu / Unsplash

According to reports, the flight had on board U.S. military personnel who were part of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat team heading from Fort Riley, Kansas, to Poznan, Poland, to assist NATO troops when the incident happened.

On arrival at the O’Hare International Airport runway, emergency vehicles were already there to help, and passengers were immediately evacuated after the authorities inspected the plane and determined it was safe for all passengers to de-plane.

No casualty was reported, and the 314 U.S. soldiers on board the plane continued their journey to Poland after the evacuation.

Emergency Landing Due to Smoke Related Issues has been More Frequent Lately

planes parked
parked planes © CHUTTERSTOCK / Unsplash

The number of aircraft making emergency land has been on the rise lately. In October, a Boeing 737 belonging to Indonesian carrier Lion Air had to make an emergency landing at its base Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, after experiencing an engine fire shortly after takeoff.

Just a few days ago, a United Airlines flight en route to Barcelona made an emergency landing in Canada after smoke was alerted in the cabin. Earlier this month, on November 1st. to be precise, Delta Air Lines 757 had to make an emergency landing in Albuquerque after smoke was reported in the cabin and cockpit.

A week later November 8th, an Aer Lingus flight diverted to Daytona Beach for a similar reason.

About Atlas Air

Atlas Air began as a cargo airline but has now evolved and does more than just cargo services; it also operates as a passenger charter airline and has been carrying the U.S. military for many years.

Founded in 1992, the airline began by leasing freighter aircraft, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) to other airlines on a contract basis. Atlas started operations with just one Boeing 747-200, but today, the airline is a leading name in outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services, with over 100 aircraft in its fleet.

In its 30 years of existence, the airline has been voted for “Leasing Provider of the Year” in an industry survey by Payload Asia magazine. The survey also added Atlas as “Charter Operator of the Year”.

Have you been on board a plane that had to make an emergency landing? What airline was it, and was it headed to? Please share your experience with us in the comment.

Correction: an earlier version of this article shared an incomplete statement from Atlas Air.

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