After experiencing a mechanical fault while flying from Kathmandu to Biratnagar, a Buddha Air plane carrying 73 passengers and four crew members was forced to burn fuel over the skies in order to make an emergency landing back in Kathmandu on Monday morning.
Airport officials acknowledged that the passenger plane had burned fuel in order to lower its landing weight at Kathmandu International Airport.
According to Pratap Babu Tiwari, general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, the jet returned to Kathmandu after one of the two landing gear indicators failed to activate at the time of the plane’s preparation to land in Biratnagar.
The landing gear’s position is shown by two independent indicators, one for each of the four wheels.
“The landing gear system failed to retract after the plane was preparing to land at Biratnagar airport, and the pilot was forced to fly back to Kathmandu, where he declared an emergency,” said Tiwari. “The landing gear system failed to retract after the plane was preparing to land at Biratnagar airport,” he added.
As a result, the pilot may make the extremely unusual decision to dump or burn fuel in order to fast reduce the aircraft’s weight to a safe level.
“Fuel may be dumped or burned because the plane’s belly must be empty in order to avoid an explosion during an emergency landing,” said Tiwari, who added that in the event of a malfunctioning landing gear, the plane’s belly would generally strike the ground while landing.
Flight Buddha Air U4 701 was obliged to circle the skies for 24 minutes in order to burn gasoline because a conventional landing in such a situation would not have been safe with a full fuel tank, according to the airline’s spokesperson.
It took 30 minutes to reopen Kathmandu International Airport after it was closed for an emergency landing.
In the words of Tiwari, “we were all prepared for the emergency landing.”
However, a few minutes later, the Buddha Air pilot informed the air traffic controller that everything was back to normal.
“At 10:16 a.m., the plane made a successful landing. Following the completion of the necessary checks, the plane will be permitted to fly regularly.”
At 8:10 a.m., the ATR-72 plane took off from Kathmandu International.