Monday, December 1, 2008

Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate

Location: On final rwy 16 at Vienna, LOWW

Probably what every pilot hates it most is to do an emergency landing. I just did one. This flight started with some bad luck as I forgot to engage the engien drive generators which left our birf getting juice from battery only after shutting down the apu. This happened at departure.

The rest of the filght was smooth with no incidents. It's time for landing, a beautiful day at Vienna with the sun going to sleep making the whole atmosphere red.
We are turning final intercepting the localizer for runway 16 starting deployng flaps to slow down the baby bird, flaps 1, flaps five. I call the gear down flaps 15 and ask the copilot for the landing checklist. Flaps 15 ...set, gear down three green...when we look at the gear indicator it shows three red, that's not good, gear appears to be blocked. We decide to go with the approach to let the tower confirm the actual problem and perform a go around.

6 or 7 nm on final confirmation of problem comes (all three gear are locked up) and we go around to decide what to do. Having no landing gear is a particualar ugly emergency as it put's the aircraft in great risk and almost all landing endup with some extent of damage. We tried to pump manually the gear a couple of times while we were turning back to the ils but unfortunately only way to go is to do a belly landing. We notify tower and start our approach. I keep the bird on autopilot till 1000 ft to prepare the procedures and notify passengers and take it manually bellow that to ensure i loose as much speed as I can before touching the runway.

Fortunately everything goes ok and in less than two minutes after the aircrafts stops perfectly and I call evacuate the FA notifys me that the evacuation is complete.

Passangers are all ok, I couldn't say that about the aircraft, both engines appear to be dammaged badlyand a lot of dammage to the fuselage can be seen also.

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