Myanmar Pilot Safely Lands Plane on Its Nose After Landing Gear Failure

May 12, 2019 Updated: May 12, 2019

YANGON—A Myanmar pilot safely landed a passenger jet without its front wheels on Sunday, May 12, after landing gear on the Myanmar National Airlines plane failed to deploy, the airline and an official said.

It was the second aviation incident in Myanmar this week, after a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane skidded off the runway during strong wind in Yangon on Wednesday, injuring at least 17 of those on board.

An official praised the pilot for bringing the Embraer 190 aircraft into land at Mandalay airport on Sunday morning despite the technical failure. No one was hurt.

“The pilot did a great job,” said Win Khant, permanent secretary of transportation and telecommunication ministry, adding the incident was being investigated.

Passengers walk away from the plane after Myanmar National Airlines flight UB103 landed without a front wheel at Mandalay International Airport in Tada-u
Passengers walk away from the plane after Myanmar National Airlines flight UB103 landed without a front wheel at Mandalay International Airport in Tada-u, Myanmar on May 12, 2019. (Nay Min via Reuters)

Myanmar National Airlines, the state-run carrier, said in a statement the aircraft had departed from the city of Yangon and was approaching the airport serving the central city of Mandalay when the pilot was unable to extend the front landing gear.

The statement reported that the plane’s EICAS—Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System—indicated a failure of the front landing gear to deploy.

The pilot, Captain Myat Moe Aung, tried a backup emergency procedure to pull down the wheels but that was unsuccessful.

Rescue team work on a plane of Myanmar National Airline (MNA) after an accident at Mandalay International airport in Mandalay, Myanmar on May 12, 2019. (Aung Thura via AP)

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

“Then the captain followed emergency procedures and did the fuel burn out to reduce the landing weight,” it said.

Video of the landing shows the plane touching down on its rear wheels before lowering its nose. The aircraft travels some distance along the runway on its nose, kicking up smoke, before coming to a halt.

The crew then performed an emergency evacuation.

The airline did not say how many people were on board but Embraer said on its website the aircraft has a typical capacity of between 96 and 114 seats.

Flight operations at the airport were temporarily suspended, and allowed to resume after about 2 ½ hours for smaller aircraft. The runways were expected to be reopened for use by larger Boeing and Airbus aircraft by late afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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