A newly published report is shedding light on a rather frightening flight with Ryanair.
On Sept. 15, 2017, a Ryanair flight took off with 190 passengers and crew on board from Stansted Airport bound for Copenhagen. However, upon takeoff, one of the Boeing 747’s nosewheels came off and bounced down the runway. The pilot and crew were unaware of the incident until air traffic controllers alerted them during the plane’s climb, according to a report by the Air Accident Investigations Board.
As the report stated, the plane was quickly diverted to East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom to make an emergency landing.
The pilot released the plane’s flaps to their full capacity to make a slow approach before gently touching the nose down as lightly as possible. Thankfully, the landing was rather normal and nobody on board was injured.
Michael Wynne, a passenger on the flight, told investigators there was a “loud clunk” right before the plane took off. “It sounded like something had broken mechanically. The stewardess and I gave each other a double take and alarmed glance,” he said.
“The nosewheel was found to have separated from the aircraft because the nose landing gear axle had failed at the left inboard journal (the part of the axle that rests on bearings),” the report explained. “This was the result of heat-induced cracking and material property changes due to abusive grinding of the chrome plate during the part’s last overhaul almost three years earlier. The Maintenance and Repair Organisation that performed the overhaul has introduced a new inspection for detecting abusive grinding.”
However, in a bizarre twist, another Ryanair flight suffered a near-miss this weekend, exactly one year after the first incident, with a blown tire upon landing at the same East Midlands Airport. Thankfully, nobody was injured during this incident either.
“The aircraft operating this flight from Barcelona to East Midlands suffered a burst tire on landing at East Midlands Airport,” a Ryanair spokesperson told the Daily Mail. “Customers disembarked and were transferred to the terminal by bus and engineers will repair the aircraft and return it to service.”
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