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Narrative: Ryanair flight FR-4052, a Boeing 737-8AS (WL), was enroute at FL410 about 80nm north of Brest, France, when the crew initiated an emergency descent to FL110 levelling off at FL110 briefly about 6 minutes after leaving FL410 (average rate of descent 5000 fpm).
Smoke and heat were emitted on board.
The aircraft diverted to Brest for a safe landing on runway 25L and stopped on the runway. About 25 minutes after landing the aircraft vacated the runway and stopped on the parallel taxiway, where passengers disembarked and were bussed to the terminal.
According to a flight record located on Flightradar24.com (see link #7), the flight (FR4052) took off from Manchester Airport (MAN) in England at 6.33 p.m. The aircraft was expected to land at Faro Airport (FAO), Portugal, a few hours later. But approximately an hour into the flight, the aircraft made a rapid descent from its cruising height of 41,000ft to just 7,000ft in seven minutes to make an emergency landing at Brest Airport (BES), in France.
Immediately after the landing, the aircraft was met by several local fire crews. The firemen approached the plane with their thermal camera and did not detect anything that could endanger the plane or the passengers.
Passengers reported that there was a fire onboard. The aircraft is still on the ground at the time of this posting.
A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration EI-DLF was dispatched to Brest, continued the flight and reached Faro with a delay of about 4 hours. The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground in Brest about 14 hours after landing.