Passengers of a Mumbai-Delhi GoAir flight had several anxious moments when the nose wheel of the aircraft failed to open before landing at the Delhi airport. There were 114 persons on board.
The aircraft circled around the airport for several minutes before it did an emergency landing at 4.48 pm, almost 40 minutes after its scheduled time of landing.
Go Air officials refused to deliberate on the exact problem. “The reason and the exact problem will be investigated with the agencies involved and the manufacturer,” a Go Air spokesperson said.
The aircraft, an Airbus 320, was purchased in November 2007. Airbus, the manufacturer, in its statement also promised support to the airline and other agencies in investigating the cause.
According to senior airport officials, the Go Air flight, G8-456, from Mumbai to Delhi was to land at Delhi airport at 4.05 p.m.
“Just before landing, the pilot detected that the aircraft’s nose wheel was not functioning. He immediately informed the Air Traffic Control and a full emergency was declared at the airport,” a senior airport official said.
Inside the aircraft, the pilot informed passengers about the malfunctioning of the nose wheel. “Passengers from row 1 to 11 were told to move to the tail of the aircraft. The pilot tried to make a landing but the nose-wheel apparently did not open and the pilot once again took the aircraft up,” said Vikas Kumar, a passenger
Fire brigade, ambulances, tow tractor, passenger coaches and step ladder were all positioned close to the runway for assisting passengers in deboarding immediately. An alert was also sounded at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdarjung hospitals.
“Engineers of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) and GoAir gathered at the runway and the aircraft was asked to undertake a low fly past so that they could have a closer look,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
The aircraft finally made a safe landing at 4.48 pm on Runway 28. Passengers were quickly transferred to the terminal and sent to their onward destination, a DIAL official said.
“Kudos to the pilot, he kept a cool head and tried to calm the passengers. If it was not for his quick thinking, anything could have happened,” said passenger Jugal Asawa.
“Now it feels like an adventure but when we were inside the plane, it was very scary. People were not that panicky except for a few people who started crying. When the plane landed we all clapped and rejoiced. It was a roller coaster ride to say the least,” said actor Neelu Kohli.