Australian aviation safety investigators have launched an urgent investigation after a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operated by Vietnam Airlines nearly landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport without its landing gear extended. The pilots aborted the landing on final approach, just 60 seconds from touchdown and only when an air traffic controller noticed that the landing gear had not deployed as it would normally during this phase flight review.
It is unclear why the landing gear was not extended on the first approach, but after initiating a so-called go-around the plane returned about five minutes later for a safe landing and without incident. Investigators have not determined whether the incident was caused by a technical problem or possible pilot error.
The nearly three-year-old plane had left Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday evening and finally landed just after 8:20 a.m. The airline has not yet confirmed the number of passengers and crew on board the plane and has not provided details of the flight crew. The aircraft has a capacity of 264 passengers.
“While approaching the landing, the crew was advised by Melbourne Air Traffic Control that the landing gear was not extended as usual,” said a statement issued by Vietnam Airlines on Thursday evening. .
“The crew commenced a missed approach, then circled the airport and landed safely,” the statement continued.
“Immediately after the flight, Vietnam Airlines representatives began working closely with the Australian Transport Safety Commission. Safety is Vietnam Airlines’ top priority and the airline is committed to supporting investigations into this case.
The ATSB has confirmed that it has opened an investigation, calling the incident a “misconfiguration incident”. Investigators will issue a report once the investigations are complete.
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