A plane carrying 89 people had to make an emergency landing after the front wheels failed to deploy. Picture: Aung Thura via AP.
A plane carrying 89 people had to make an emergency landing after the front wheels failed to deploy. Picture: Aung Thura via AP.

AIR CRASH: How one decision saved 89 passengers

A plane carrying 89 people in Myanmar made an emergency landing using only its rear wheels after the front landing gear failed to deploy.

The Brazilian-made Embraer 190-LR touched down at Mandalay International Airport in the nation's south yesterday on its rear set of wheels before the plane's nose tilted down to scrape the runway, sending off a shower of sparks as it slowed to a stop.

A rescue team gathers near the plane. Picture: Aung Thura via AP.
A rescue team gathers near the plane. Picture: Aung Thura via AP.

Passengers on the Myanmar National Airlines flight reported seeing smoke rising through the cabin as it touched down.

Kyaw San, a spokesman for the airport, said the pilot informed the control tower before landing he was unable to pull down the nose wheels.

A statement on the airline's Facebook page explained the plane's EICAS - Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System - indicated a failure of the front landing gear to deploy. The pilot tried a backup emergency procedure to pull down the wheels, but that was unsuccessful.

The plane’s nose tilted down to scrape the runway, sending off a shower of sparks as it slowed to a stop. Picture: Aung Thura via AP.
The plane’s nose tilted down to scrape the runway, sending off a shower of sparks as it slowed to a stop. Picture: Aung Thura via AP.

The aircraft did two fly-bys past the tower for air controllers to check visually whether the wheels had deployed.

The captain and crew have been praised after they followed emergency procedures to dump fuel to reduce the landing weight and made a safe landing yesterday morning, said the statement.

Video apparently shot by one of the passengers and posted online showed an urgent but orderly evacuation of the passengers and crew.

Passengers were seen walking away from the plane across the airfield, several of them smiling.



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