Damage forced Inverness-bound plane to land without nose gear

Passengers on board the flight from Belfast endured a two-hour wait circling above the Irish Sea.

Flight: The plane was forced to land with no nose landing gear. <strong>Trish Corbett</strong>
Flight: The plane was forced to land with no nose landing gear. Trish Corbett

An airliner was forced to land with no nose gear due to a damaged piece of equipment, accident investigators have found.

The problem was caused by the use of a cable tie which restricted the flexibility of a moving part of the landing gear system, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.

There were 53 passengers and four crew on board Flybe’s Bombardier Q-400 aircraft during the incident on November 10, 2017.

After the plane took off from Belfast City Airport for Inverness, the crew became aware of a problem with the nose landing gear.

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Passengers on flight BE331 endured a tense two-hour wait circling above the Irish Sea as the pilot burned off fuel before making an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport, which was chosen for its long runway.

When the plane came to a stop it tipped forward and rested on its nose.

An evacuation was carried out “in an orderly manner”. Two people suffered minor injuries.

The AAIB said the aircraft manufacturer had taken measures to rectify the landing gear problem.


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