|The Boeing 767-300 with 220 passengers aboard touching down with no |
landing gear as emergency crews await
The LOT Airlines plane was carrying 230 people when it was forced to make a crash landing in Warsaw after an electrical failure meant the landing gear could not be deployed, TVN24 reported.
Video footage showed the plane touching down without landing gear. It slid along the runway on its belly before grinding to a halt. Emergency services rushed to put out a small fire, the report said. The plane circled over the airport in the Polish capital for more than an hour but could not get the landing gear to work due to the fault. The pilot then dumped fuel before warning passengers to prepare for an emergency landing. Passengers have spoken of their relief after the landing. "I was praying for the pilot not to lose control because we started to make circles over the airport. It was terrible," passenger Teresa Kowalik told the Daily Mail. Another passenger Joanna Dabrowska, 29 revealed how some of the passengers apparently feared the worst. "People were saying their final farewells to each other and some were sobbing," she said.
All aircraft due to land were diverted to other airports, and emergency vehicles prepared for the landing. Some roads around the airport were closed. The Boeing 767-300 with 220 passengers aboard travelling from Newark (in the United States) made a successful emergency landing after its landing gear failed to deploy. The plane landed safely on its belly on the runway which had been sprayed with special fire retardant substances to prevent sparks on touchdown. All the passengers disembarked, no one was injured," Chorzewski added. After the plane stopped, passengers exited the plane using inflatable emergency slides to the runway where emergency crews were waiting for them. Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski thanked the crew, particularly the pilot, for the safe landing and hailed passengers for their "efficient co-operation at a very difficult moment". The pilot, identified as Tadeusz Wrona, had 20 years of flight experience on Boeings in addition to his background as a flight planner. "He managed the landing perfectly," LOT chairman Marcin Pirog said. Wrona circled the aircraft near Warsaw for more than an hour, to burn off excess fuel stocks before the landing. Two Polish F-16 military fighter jets escorted the plane in line with routine procedures, an air force spokesperson told the Polish PAP news agency. Warsaw airport has suspended all flights until Wednesday morning in connection with the incident. An Iran Air Boeing 727 arriving from Moscow made a similar emergency landing on October 18 in Tehran after a landing gear failure. None of the 116 passengers were hurt.
Source: News Limited