VS43 in trouble over south coastBack to Forum
Anonymous29 Dec 2014
VS43 from LGW to LAS is currently circling over the south coast and around Gatwick area.
Believed to have hydraulic problem after take off and unable to lower landing gear on one side of the aircraft. Flight is a 747-400.
VS has experience of landing an A340 with a similar problem at Heathrow in the past..29 Dec 2014
I see the aircraft now on flightradar24 flying at 5,300 feet and that’s quite a pattern its flying, most likely to burn off fuel.
Should not be a problem to land with one side inoperative though I can imagine the pax are pretty nervous up there.
Let’s hope it all goes fine and they get back to earth safely.29 Dec 2014
Excellent coverage on Sky News at the moment including picture of faulty landing gear …..fingers crossed for a safe and as normal landing as possible.
Edit to add… Safely down as reported by Sky29 Dec 2014
According to AH it’s landed safely.
This must have be very upsetting both for the passengers on board and probably worse for their friends and families esp after Air Asia this past weekend.29 Dec 2014
A very worrying 5 hours for all on board, glad to see a good ending but of course something to strengthen the argument for a second runway as Gatwick is now closed to all traffic until such times as the passengers disembark and the aircraft can be safely towed off the runway.29 Dec 2014
Thankfully, a happy outcome. Another demonstration of the excellent training given to pilots in the UK. According to one of the passengers, the cabin crew also acted professionally. Shame that Sky News cannot show the same continuity in their coverage. Why has the aircraft suddenly changed from 747 to 777 and only circled for around 30 minutes!! I have watched this unfold for at least two hours, up to safe landing at LGW.29 Dec 2014
The result of all this is huge inconvenience to thousands of passengers as other flights are delayed and or diverted and in many cases cancelled. Surely given the timings involved, as it was flying around aimlessly for some hours it could have been diverted somewhere that would have caused less problems. If it absolutely needed to be LGW, ok….but did it?29 Dec 2014
The LGW runway finally reopened some 30 mins ago. It delayed flight EK9 from Dubai (an A380 operation) by 90 mins but other flights will, I am sure, have suffered longer delays etc.29 Dec 2014
Mr Michael – LGW is home to VS although they do have Engineering facility also at LHR. That’s a good reason why they chose LGW. It was not flying aimlessly around for hours, the crew were without doubt assessing all options before their successful landing at LGW. Surely the safe return of all passengers and crew is a far better outcome than the alternative.29 Dec 2014
Not sure which airport they could realistically have diverted to that has the necessary facilities.
Plus if you land a disabled plane somewhere away from the main base you don’t have the engineering people on site.29 Dec 2014
Great everyone made it unscathed. Well done the crew and especially the pilots – Dave and Mick.
The multiple low level passes over LGW were to allow photographs to be taken from a variety of angles to ascertain the actual situation wrt the landing gear to provide feedback to pilots helping them make a more informed decision. Also a series of climbs and sharp descents in an attempt to jerk the faulty gear into action.
Was a touch bemused why it took so long to clear the runway though. Also why the spare parallel runway couldn’t have been used. (I know the 2 cannot be used together as they are too close, however thought the close spare was for maintenance and situations like this)29 Dec 2014