“Keeping a cool head during the crisis, we just followed what we were taught and the way we landed is a textbook example in emergency landing,” said Captain Mohammad Zakaria, who was at the helm of the Cox's Bazar bound US-Bangla Airlines flight BS-141 that made emergency landing -- without nose landing gear -- at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram on September 26.
He was speaking at a press conference at a hotel in the capital yesterday. US-Bangla Airlines, one of the leading private airlines of the country, organised the event.
Flight BS-141 took off from Dhaka with 164 passengers, including 11 children, and 7 crew members. No one was hurt during the emergency landing, except some minor injuries.
Talking to this correspondent after the briefing, Capt Zakaria said while 10 kilometers away from the Cox's Bazar airport, they were preparing to land but realised that the nose landing gear did not extend and lock in place.
“In a bid to make sure whether the nose landing gear is extended or not, I requested the Cox's Bazar Airport control tower to check it after bringing the aircraft down. After getting confirmation, I spoke with the first officer and decided to make emergency landing at the Chattogram airport as it is better equipped to deal with an emergency,” Capt Zakaria said.
On their way to Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram, they tried to open the landing gear manually following the Boeing checklist but failed, he added.
“Our main target was to keep the nose of the aircraft up parallel to ground as long as we can and use the full length of the runway. Thanks to the Almighty, our plan worked and we made the emergency landing without any major damage,” said the captain.
Speaking at the briefing, CEO of US-Bangla Airlines, Imran Asif said they operate all their flights maintaining standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
“Before take-off, all flights of US-Bangla Airlines undergo technical checking thrice. Foreign engineers check the flight at night, a day before the flight, and then it is checked again by local engineers. Then the captain re-checks the aircraft. On completion of all the cross-checking, a flight is put in place for take-off,” he said.
Some 17 foreign engineers from Europe, Canada and USA have been appointed to examine the aircrafts and 62 expert-level local engineers are also working for the company, he added.
“The Cox's Bazar incident is not an accident, it's just an incident,” he claimed.