Myanmar pilot Captain Myat Moe Aung skillfully landed his plane without its front wheels Sunday after the aircraft’s landing gear failed, saving his passengers and crew from a potential aircraft tragedy.
According to The Guardian, the Myanmar National Airlines flight UB-103 was carrying 82 passengers and seven crew members headed from Yangon to Mandalay, when Captain Aung realized there was a problem with the landing gear. He repeatedly tried to deploy the gear before following “emergency procedures” and initiating a “fuel burn-out to reduce the landing weight,” the airline said in a statement to CNN.
“They tried hard twice by flying around twice and asked [the flight tower] to check whether the nose wheel dropped or not,” deputy director general of Myanmar’s civil aviation department, Ye Htut Aung, told The Guardian. “So they had to land with the back wheels.”
After reducing the landing weight with the fuel burn-out, Captain Aung carefully navigated the plane down onto the runway, landing on its two rear wheels before slowly lowering the nose to the ground. The entire incident was captured in an unverified video and shows the nose skidding along the runway with sparks flying before the plan comes to a stop.
There were no casualties or injuries from the incident, and all passengers quickly disembarked following the landing.
“Smoke came out a little when we landed,” one passenger, Soe Moe, told The Guardian. “All passengers are OK.”
Ye Htut Aung also told the outlet that Myanmar National Airlines would examine the aircraft, and Embraer— the aircraft company who made the plane—said it would offer “its full cooperation to the aviation authorities in order to aid in the investigation”.
Sunday’s incident was the second instance of a malfunctioning flight in Myanmar this week. Just four days prior, at least 17 people were injured on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane while landing at Yangon airport in heavy winds. The aircraft bounced around before skidding off the runway, damaging the plane.