Vol. 5 Num 1104 Mon. July 09, 2007  
Front Page

Wheel trouble forces Biman hovering for 30 minutes
GMG flight also makes emergency landing

A Bangladesh Biman flight from Dubai with 230 passengers and crew on board was forced to hover in the sky for about half an hour due to wheel trouble before landing in Chittagong yesterday afternoon.

The same day in the capital, a Bangkok-bound GMG airlines flight made an emergency landing at the Zia International Airport (ZIA) for problems in its propeller.

Our staff correspondent from the port city reports: With technical glitches in its nose landing gear, the national flag carrier flight BG-048 finally touched the ground at the Shah Amanat International Airport at 1.45pm.

Coming from the Middle East, it was scheduled to arrive at 1.15pm but as it entered the Chittagong sky the pilot sensed something was wrong in the landing gear.

"As the front wheels did not open up he [pilot] decided not to land at that moment," said Squadron Leader Sajjad Hossain, the airport manager.

"Instead, he and the other crew members tried to find out the problems first," he said adding that after detecting the difficulties, they reported those to the control tower and asked for instructions.

Following okay signal from the tower, the pilot brought the airliner down to the ground safely.

Airport sources said most of the passengers were bound for Chittagong and a few for Dhaka.

Airport Manager Sajjad said Biman engineers have been engaged to repair the aircraft immediately.

The same aircraft skidded around 200 metres off the tarmac after one of its engines caught fire at Shah Amanat Airport earlier on July 1, 2005.

Mohammad Yasin, 35, who hails from Raozan upazila and works at a shop in Dubai, said it was quite a tense situation.

"I was looking out the window. As I saw Kafco (Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Ltd) and a few more buildings on the bank of river Karnaphuli, the flight crew announced the warning. They told us to fasten our seat belts," he said, describing the nervous minutes on board.

The announcement caused panic among the passengers, he said adding, "But thank God it's all over now."

The pilot of GMG flight-031 found out about faults in the propeller of McDonnell Douglas MD-82 moments after it took off at 1.30pm, civil aviation sources said.

As the passengers came to know of it, panic swept through them.

The aircraft circled the airport for around 10 minutes before it landed successfully at 1:40pm, added the sources.

The airliner finally flew for Bangkok at 4:30pm, said an official of the private airline.