Two air disasters averted

Karachi Airport’s major runway was closed for several hours on Sunday after a Shaheen Air aircraft had one of its tyres burst while landing, but timely action by the pilot possibly averted another major disaster following Friday’s Bhoja Air crash near Islamabad Airport that left 127 dead.

By Rehan Siddiqui

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Published: Mon 23 Apr 2012, 11:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:41 AM

A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman, Pervez George, confirmed the incident and said all passengers and the crew were safe.

The Shaheen Air flight NL 122 — another Boeing 737 aircraft — with about 100 passengers was scheduled to land at the 25-L runway at the Jinnah International Airport when the landing gear malfunctioned causing the tyre to burst.

“The tyre of the landing gear burst and the plane jerked forward but the pilot was able to stop it, possibly averting a disaster,” the CAA spokesman explained.

Due to the incident major runway of the airport was closed till 5pm and many large aircraft were redirected to the Nawabshah airport, while smaller aircraft were allowed to land in other runways of the Karachi airport.

Later, the CAA requested PIA to remove planes from the major runway while the ministry of defence ordered that all private airlines aircraft be thoroughly checked before given the go-ahead to fly again.

While the news of the Karachi incident was still being flashed by electronic media another Shaheen Air aircraft bound for the Iranian city of Mashed was forced to abort take off when its fuel tank began leaking at Lahore Airport. The plane was carrying 200 passengers.

All passengers and crew on board the flight remained unhurt.

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