SCAT airplane lands on foam in Astana10 april 2014, 04:29
SCAT airplane made an emergency landing in Astana airport on April 7, the airport's press-service told Tengrinews.
SCAT’s Boeing 737-500 was making a domestic flight from Shymkent to Astana. It was supposed to land at 9:25 a.m., but instead the welcomes saw the airport closing its runways for flights at 9:34 a.m., delaying 4 departing flights, sending off 3 incoming aircraft to Karaganda and getting ready to receive an emergency landing.
The emergency was declared because the pilot discovered that his plane had a problem with its nose landing gear when he was getting ready to land.
The airport alerted the city's emergency authorities of the expected emergency landing and immediately got 5 ambulances and 7 fire engines. The airport's personnel covered the runway with foam to reduce the risk of fire during landing while the plane was circling in the sky burning the remaining fuel for the same purpose.
A foam path is an aviation safety practice that involves spreading a layer of fire suppression foam on an airport runway prior to an emergency landing. It is not good for landing using landing gear because it is rather slippery, but it can be a decider if the landing gear is so faulty that the airplane lands on its "belly".
However belly landing was not the case for the Boeing in Astana. It's landing gear worked just fine in the end and the passenger needed neither the ambulances nor the firefighters.
As the company representatives later explained the landing gear position transmitter failed to signal that the nose landing gear was extended properly, so the pilot reported problems with the landing gear.
He made several low passes over the airport for the ground staff to take a look at the gear, hoping that they would be able to see what the problem was. Besides, he needed to burn the remaining fuel, to reduce the risk of flaring in case the landing goes sour.
The airport remained closed and in emergency mode until 10:57 when the airplane finally landed safely.
There were 5 crewmembers and 89 passengers onboard the Boeing. None of the passengers were hurt. The plane was not damaged either.
The company is now trying to figure out why the gear position transmitter failed to give the proper signal and landed it into an image problem. Besides, a criminal case was initialed against the company for creating the emergency situation. Even though no one was injured and nothing was damaged the company will most likely get a fine.
SCAT company seems to be haunted by landing gear accidents this month. It had a similar case on April 1 when one of its landing gears got jammed, frayed all four tires and started smoking from friction on the runway scaring both the airport staff and the passengers.
The series has attracted attention of the Transport Ministry of Kazakhstan and it has commenced a check into the company's activities.
SCAT is a privately owned Kazakhstani airline with headquarters in Shymkent. It makes domestic flights in Kazakhstan and international flights to the neighboring countries.
It is owned by Vladimir Denissov (53%) and Vladimir Sytnik (47%).
By Tatyana Kuzmina