Hero pilot safely lands passenger plane with no front wheels as sparks fly from nose of jet

'He did a great job,' says government official

Peter Stubley
Monday 13 May 2019 07:33
Firefighters hose down the plane after the emergency landing at Mandalay international airport
Firefighters hose down the plane after the emergency landing at Mandalay international airport

A pilot safely landed a passenger plane without using its front wheels after they failed to deploy on arrival at the airport.

Video footage of the emergency touchdown showed sparks flying from the nose of the aircraft as it slid along the runway in Myanmar.

None of the 82 passengers and seven flight crew were injured during the incident at Mandalay International Airport.

Myanmar National Airlines said in a statement that the pilot, Captain Myat Moe Aung, was alerted to the problem by the plane’s Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS).

He informed the control tower and tried a backup emergency procedure to pull down the wheels on the Brazilian-made Embraer 190-LR.

The pilot then carried out two fly-bys of the runway to allow air controllers to check visually whether the landing gear had deployed.

After dumping fuel to reduce the landing weight, he brought the aircraft in to land on its rear wheels before the nose slowly tipped down to make contact with the runway at 9.09am on Sunday.

“The pilot did a great job,” said Win Khant, permanent secretary of transportation and telecommunication ministry.

A video posted online by one of the passengers showed smoke spreading through the plane before they evacuated the aircraft.

Several of the passengers were smiling as they walked away from the plane.

Smoke enters the cabin as passengers wait to evacuate flight UB103 from Yangon to Mandalay

Flight operations at the airport were suspended for several hours as a result of the incident, which is now under investigation.

“Myanmar national airlines would like to thank all passengers and our crew on board,” the company said in a statement.

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Last week a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane skidded off the runway after landing in bad weather in Yangon. At least 15 crew and passengers were injured.

Additional reporting by AP and Reuters

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