11/02/2011

A LOT of difficulty landing

The LOT Polish airlines which did a belly landing in Warsaw made news yesterday. Another LOT aircraft to Warsaw, from Geneva, turned back last Saturday.


The one which turned back was an Embraer ERJ-170 jet, registration SP-LDA, taking off from Geneva at 7h27 pm as flight LO416 to Warsaw. After about 10 minutes it turned around and landed back in Geneva at 7h51 pm. Things could not have been too serious, though, since it left Geneva again at 8h41. I wonder if the pilot had a doubt about the undercarriage!

The belly landing of the Boeing 767 aircraft after a flight from New Jersey made for a quite spectacular video. In fact, the crew had known about the undercarriage problem very shortly after the departure, so the pilot obviously had time to prepare himself. According to one report, he even made such a good landing that some passengers did not realise that it was not a normal one.

The pilot, Tadeusz Wrona, has been congratulated by the Polish authorities, even being compared with Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who landed a crippled US Airways Airbus A320 in the Hudson River in 2009. Of course, the British know that Poland has produced many excellent pilots, going back to World War II, when many of them escaped to Britain and flew Spitfires.

A rather less enthusiastic reception was given by the Iranian authorities when on October 18 an Iran Air Boeing 727 landed in Tehran without a nose wheel. Although the pilot clearly made a very good job, he was immediately grounded by them.

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