Flight BS-141 took off from Dhaka with 164 passengers(including 11 children) at 11:30 AM BDT. While preparing for landing the pilots discovered that the nose landing gear would not extend and was locked in its place. After trying everything they could to extend the gear they decided to divert to chattogram’s Shah Amanat International Airport as that was better equipped to deal with an emergency.
Hasan Jahir, station air traffic officer of Shah Amanat International Airport, told The Daily Star, “The pilot had a 30-minute conversation over the radio with the control tower.
“He told us that the nose gear of the aircraft was not extending and wanted us to prepare for an emergency landing.
“The pilot, Captain Mohammad Zakaria, was calm and focused when he was talking to the control tower. He was describing the problem very patiently.
“He seemed confident and not frightened or panicked even for a moment,” he said.
The pilots decided to fly some holding patterns to burn off some fuel to make the plane lighter. The plane touched down at 1:18 pm BDT.
People on the ground took photos and video clips of landing and posted them on social media.
Here’s a link to the video which has the full landing recorded -
Some passengers received minor injuries while rushing out of the plane. One passenger was hospitalised and 40 others were give first Aid. The rest were counselled for psychological trauma.
Pilot Captain Mohammad Zakaria told Jagonews24.com that like any other pilot, he received training on managing emergency situations.
“Apart from training, a pilot has his own technique to apply in an emergency situation and I tried my best to be as safe as possible and I landed the aircraft thinking about the safety of all passengers and crew,” the news portal quoted him as saying.
“One of the techniques is to reduce the fuel on board,” he said, adding that the risk of explosions and the plane dragging along the runway too much is reduced with a lighter fuel load.
Passenger Pulak, who was in a wheel chair, said “Being panicked, I tried to get out hurriedly through the emergency door on the wing and I hurt my leg,” he said.
A passenger said, “I am still in panic and I do not know whether I will be able to fly again.”
However, all the passengers that The Daily Star correspondent spoke to praised the pilot.
“For the pilot, we, the 164 passengers, have gotten out safely from the aircraft,” said Qaiyum, adding, “He did not make us realise the actual danger even minutes before the emergency landing.”
Passenger Mamtaj said, “I want to express my heartiest gratitude to the pilot as he efficiently managed the situation.”
“I cannot even imagine what would have happened if there was a minor fault in decision-making in that situation,” she said.
Chattogram airport was closed for five hours following the incident. Two Chattogram-bound flights from Kolkata were diverted to Dhaka while another to Chattogram did not take off from Dhaka during that time.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh yesterday formed a four-member committee to investigate the incident.
At least 51 people, including 28 Bangladeshis, were killed when a US-Bangla Airlines dash-8 Q400 crashed in Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport on March 12.
Let’s congratulate the pilots for being calm and for doing such an amazing work!! I hope everyone recovers quickly. Have a nice day.
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