Passengers use emergency slides at OIA after scare on Cayman Airways flight

Flight to New York diverted to Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Passengers aboard a Cayman Airways flight used emergency slides to deplane Sunday evening after the aircraft made an emergency landing at Orlando International Airport.

Flight KX792, heading to New York, was diverted to Orlando around 5 p.m. after a warning light indicated there was smoke in one of its cargo holds.

The plane landed safely at 6:17 p.m., and airline officials said no smoke was ever present in the cargo holds.

According to Cayman Airways, 103 passengers and five crew members used the emergency over-wing exits and the deployed door slides to exit the plane.

Passenger Dianne Connolly said she had no choice but to jump off from one of the wings to get to safety.

"I think for me the shock was jumping off the wing, which is much harder than you think," Connolly said.

Emergency personnel, including paramedics, were on hand, but the passengers and crew were cleared and did not need further medical attention.

Hope Capparelli was one of the passengers aboard the flight and said it was after the landing that things got a bit chaotic.

"I thought I was going to die," Capparelli said. "I think everyone was scared. The flight attendants were scared. We were scared."

A statement from Cayman Airways President and CEO Fabian Whorms apologized to passengers for the traumatic experience.

"We are extremely mindful that this emergency landing and evacuation was a very distressing event," said Whorms. "On behalf of Cayman Airways, I offer a most sincere apology to our passengers for having to experience this emergency landing and evacuation, which was necessary in the interest of the safety of our passengers and crew. We have removed the affected aircraft from service indefinitely in order to accomplish the required repairs."​​​​​​​

The airline said its flight schedule has been changed for Monday.

  • KX793, scheduled to depart JFK at 8:45 a.m. will now depart at 7:30 p.m.
  • KX2606, scheduled to depart GCM at 6:05 p.m. will now depart at 10:10 p.m.
  • KX2607, scheduled to depart KIN at 8:10 p.m. will now depart at 12:10 a.m.
  • KX200/201 will now be operated on Tuesday, Sept. 10 instead.

All other flights are expected to operate on schedule. 

Affected passengers may call Cayman Airways at 800-422-9626 with any questions.

About the Authors: