Kalitta Air Boeing 747 Diverts To Saskatoon Following Cargo Maintain Hearth Indication

A Kalitta Air Boeing 747-400(BCF) diverted to Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport while traveling between Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International and Ted Stevens Anchorage International on Thursday evening. The jumbo made the landing after the flight crew reported a forward cargo hold fire indication.

Possible fire

Flight K4636 had seven crew members on board and was flying at FL340, approximately 200 NM northeast of Saskatoon, Canada, when the decision to divert was made. As a result, the quadjet quickly descended to 10,000 ft before landing at Saskatoon Airport’s runway 27.


According to The Aviation Herald, emergency services were requested to look at the plane’s right-hand side. The 747 was then shifted off the runway and taxied to the apron.

Saskatoon Airport has shared that a sensor went off inside the 747, causing the fire suppression system to be activated. Still, it’s not clear if the incident was a false alarm. Thus, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is looking into the matter.

FR24 Kalitta Air

Two for one

The event was a surprise for those on the ground. Seeing one jumbo land at the airport would have been a treat for many. However, the incident left people seeing double as another Kalitta 747 reportedly joined its sibling in a bid to help. It arrived with a rescue crew and repair equipment for the other jumbo.

Saskatoon local Andrew Unruh shared the following to CTV:

“I didn’t know there was going to be two I thought the other one would have been long gone by now. But, yeah, I get to see two, sitting in the same place, same shot.”

More on the airline

Registration N744CK, the aircraft that was diverted, was initially delivered to Japan Airlines back in June 1993. According to ch-aviation, the 29 year-old has performed over 111,000 flight hours and more than 2,600 flight cycles.

N744CK hasn’t been tracked in the air since landing at Saskatoon. Before this flight, it had headed to the likes of New York, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles over the last week.

The unit is joined by 24 other 747s within Kalitta Air’s fleet. The Michigan-headquartered cargo powerhouse was founded at the turn of the century and also holds five 777-200s to help move goods across the skies.

There have been other incidents involving the airline’s 747s in recent years. For instance, in February 2020, a unit collided with a garbage bin during a takeoff roll in Los Angeles. Additionally, in November 2021, another unit lost a panel when flying to Miami. The airline will be keen to get the 747 involved in this week’s incident back in the air safely as soon as possible.

What are your thoughts about this Kalitta Air Boeing 747 diverting to Saskatoon due to a cargo fire indication? What do you make of the overall incident involving the jumbo? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Sources: The Aviation Herald; CTV News

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