767 emergency lands with no wheels at Warsaw airport
PR dla Zagranicy
A LOT Polish airlines Boeing 767 made a dramatic landing at Warsaw's international airport, Tuesday afternoon, after a failure to the plane's landing gear.
Plane emergency lands at Warsaw's Chopin airport; photo - PAP/Jacek Turczyk
None of the 231 passengers or crew were injured in the incident.
Two F-16's escorted the plane, which was travelling from Newark, New Jersey, US, to Warsaw after the pilot of the Boeing 767 reported, at 13.40 CET, Tuesday, that he could not lower the landing gear.
After circling the airport, the pilots went ahead with the emergency landing at 14.40 CET with no wheels and astonished onlookers watched on as the 767 landed on the belly of the aircraft.
“The pilots checked how the machine was behaving in the air. It turned out that, unfortunately, the landing gear was not working and they informed the crew to start the appropriate [emergency landing] routine,” said spokesperson for Poland's Air Force Col. Robert Kupracz.
Emergency services had prepared the runway with a special fire-proof foam before the emergency landing.
Passengers were taken to medical facilities at the airport.
President Bronislaw Komorowski told journalists at a hastily arranged press conference this afternoon that he had thanked the captain, who he spoke to briefly, the crew and, above all, the passengers, who were “very brave,” he said.
The captain told him that the landing was “difficult”, Komorowski said.
Authorities initially said that Warsaw's Okecie airport is currently closed to traffic till 8 am local time tomorrow morning but further details are expected later today.
Scheduled flights are being re-directed to other airports. (pg)