Flight’s emergency landing at EMA was due to loss of wheel
CREW ON ANOTHER PLANE WITNESSED NOSEWHEEL ‘FLY FROM AIRCRAFT’ UPON TAKEOFF, REPORT FINDS
AN investigation into why a plane was forced to make an emergency landing at East Midlands Airport has concluded that it lost one of its front wheels on take-off.
The Ryanair flight was carrying 184 passengers and took off from London Stansted Airport destined for Copenhagen on September 15 last year.
A report, published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, says as it did so crew on the ground from a different flight saw one of the nosewheels fly from the aircraft and off the runway.
They alerted air traffic control at Stansted, who contacted the captain and crew onboard the Copenhagenbound flight.
Initially the flight, which had taken off, was going to circle back and land at the same airport, but was instead diverted to East Midlands where it made what the reports says was “an uneventful landing”.
However, the emergency landing saw the runway at East Midlands closed for more than an hour with one inbound flight having to divert to a different airport.
The report concludes: “The nosewheel was found to have separated from the aircraft because the axle [which holds it] failed. The failure was caused by a crack which was as a result of heat-induced cracking caused by grinding.
“The cause of the grinding could not be determined.”
At the time of the incident, at around 10am, traffic on the M1 had to be held between junctions 23a and 24 by police to allow the plane to land.
At the time, East Midlands Airport confirmed the flight landed safely and that no-one was injured.
The report says: “As the aircraft entered the runway [for its take-off at Stansted] air traffic control cleared the crew to take off.
“The flight crew heard a noise similar to the nosewheels passing over a runway centre light. The same noise was heard by the two cabin crew members at the front of the cabin. Neither the pilots nor the two cabin crew members considered the noise to be anything out of the ordinary.
“An aircraft waiting at the hold informed air traffic control they had seen one of the nosewheels depart the aircraft and be blown off the runway.
“They could also see what appeared to be part of the aircraft on the runway.”
Air traffic control at Stansted Airport alerted the captain and crew onboard assessed the situation which saw them find guidance on landing with a flat tyre in their manual
The report says the crew wanted to return to Stansted but were diverted to East Midlands Airport.
The Ryanair Boeing 737 aircraft at East Midlands Airport shortly after crew had to abort the flight to Copenhagen and make an emergency landing after losing a nosewheel