A Saab-2000 airplane operated by Carpatair has executed a safe emergency landing at Timisoara airport in Romania this morning, with no injuries. The plane arrived to Timisoara from Chisinau, Moldavia with 47 passengers, 1 infant and 4 crew members onboard.
It was noticed by the crew during the final approach before landing that the front landing gear did not open to its extended position. Following several attampts to release the nose gear, a low pass over the runway was performed to visually check the nose gear position. It was confirmed from the ground to be in the up position and therefore an emergency landing was decided - which was broadcasted live on Romanian Television.
All procedures went according to the books and professional plans, the flight spent more than an hour and a half circling around the airport to burn fuel, thus reduce the risk of an explosion or fire upon landing. They landed at 9:44 (instead of the originally planned 8:05) with more than 20 ambulances and fire engines on the site, prepared for the worst. The aircraft stopped perfectly on the centerline axis shortly after the nose of the aircraft had touched the runway surface. Preliminarily, a foam carpet had been created on the runway to diminish the fire risk (the whote foam is clearly seen on the image above). Both pilots in the cockpit were very experienced as they have flown for more than 40 years, with more than 10.000 flight hours recorded individually.
Passengers had been disembarked through the front passenger door. No passenger or crew member was injured. The aircraft has no noticeable damages following the emergency landing.
Carpatair is a regional airline serving several airports in Romania and surrounding countries as well as flying to Italy, Greece, Austria and Germany with a fleet of 14 Saab-2000′s and 3 Fokker F100′s. It also flies in cooperation with oneworld member Malév Hungarian Airlines on several routes to and from Budapest, Hungary.