A United Airlines’ 787-9 bound for Los Angeles diverted to Noumea due to the “smell of smoke” onboard.
Noumea is the capital of New Caledonia, a French territory located east of Australia and north of New Zealand. The flight, UA99, landed at La Tontouta International Airport (NOU) at 4:22 PM local time after leaving early from Melbourne, Australia at 12:33 PM. The flight had 256 passengers and all will remain overnight in Noumea. An airport official in Noumea explained the delay in this way:
It seems that there was some smoke coming out of the cockpit.
Fuel was dumped prior to landing, but no passengers or crew were injured.
One passenger, UAMike, wrote on Flyertalk:
Emergency landing here in Noumea, New Caledonia due to smoke in the cockpit. Landed safely without incident. However, it was a bit unsettling to see the aircraft dumping fuel over the ocean before landing. Also, it was my first time seeing the flight attendants demonstrate how to do the “brace position”. Hope to get more info on when we can leave the island (hopefully tomorrow morning). New Caledonia is a beautiful place. United and the people of New Caledonia have taken good care of us.
There are worse places to be stranded…