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ANA Flight 1603

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nn20070314a2a.jpgAn All Nippon Airways passenger plane with 60 people aboard made a successful emergency landing Tuesday morning at Kochi airport after its nose gear failed to deploy.

The propjet had circled the Shikoku airport for two hours with the nose gear retracted before touching down.

None of the 56 passengers and four crew members was injured, the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said. Everyone deplaned around 11:10 a.m.

The nose of the twin-turboprop DHC-8Q400 Bombardier briefly gave off sparks as it scraped the 2,500-meter runway upon landing at 10:54 a.m., according to the ministry.

Flight 1603, operated by ANA subsidiary Air Central Co., departed from Osaka‘s Itami airport at around 8:10 a.m. The problem occurred around 8:50 a.m., five minutes before its scheduled arrival time, after which the plane circled Kochi airport for two more hours burning off fuel.

The successful landing followed an earlier attempt to dislodge the gear by touching down briefly at around 10:30 a.m., ministry officials said. The plane touched down on the runway with its main gear and then took off again to circle above the airport.

 

Firetrucks were on hand before the plane landed.

According to aviation expert Akira Maene, the nosegear glitch is a recurring problem with this type of aircraft, indicating there may be a structural or design flaw.

 

ANA said it has grounded the 12 other Bombardiers in its fleet and nine at an affiliated carrier until an emergency inspection can be completed.

Designed by aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Canada and produced by Bombardier Aerospace Corp. of the Montreal-based Bombardier group, the model has recently suffered a series of mechanical problems.

The transport ministry said 44 incidents affected DHC-8 service in 2005 alone, of which 26 involved the DHC8-Q400.

nn20070314a4a.jpgAfter which passengers aboard an All Nippon Airways propjet that made an emergency landing at Kochi airport Tuesday after its nose gear failed to extend recounted their two-hour ordeal before their safe touchdown.

No one was injured among the 56 passengers and four crew members when the twin-engined Bombardier DHC-8 turboprop made a safe landing on its main gear and then carefully lowered the nose to the runway at 10:54 a.m.

“The passengers were told about the nose gear malfunction some 20 minutes after takeoff,” said Shuji Kurebe, 30, a travel agency worker in Osaka Prefecture. “But all the passengers appeared calm and no one panicked.”

Another male passenger said no one initially appeared to take the matter seriously. But he said a flight attendant later began to give away candies to help ease the stress of passengers.

ANA Flight 1603, which had left Osaka‘s Itami airport and was heading to Kochi, had to circle above Kochi airport for nearly two hours while it tried to deploy the nose gear and to reduce fuel to minimize the chance of a fire if the landing turned rough.

Kurebe said passengers knew the pilot was trying to deploy the failed gear. “Sounds of the gear being moved were repeatedly heard, and we knew the pilot tried many times.”

Kurebe said he felt a chill when he saw the emergency vehicles lining the runway while the plane was circling. “Then I thought something serious was going on.”

A few minutes after the passengers were instructed to prepare for an emergency landing by lowering their heads, Kure said he felt the nose of the plane scraping along the runway. Heat from the friction was also felt, he added. The plane landed at 10:54 a.m.

“I would never want my customers to experience something like this,” the travel agent said.

But another passenger said he was confident the plane would land safety. “I was relieved because no big sound or huge shock was felt. The pilot must be very skilled.”

Aviation expert Akira Maene said Capt. Hitoshi Imazato, 36, did a very good job.

“The pilot followed the proper procedures,” Maene said, adding it was important to reduce speed as much as possible, plant the main gear first and then ease the nose to the runway.

Imazato has flown some 8,000 hours since 1996, including some 3,000 hours on DHC-8s.

Maene noted the same type of aircraft has had this type of trouble often, indicating there may be a structural or design flaw.

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Written by Andy

March 14, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Posted in 有故事的人

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