5 JANUARY 2015


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Article from BTNews 5 JANUARY 2015

Gatwick emergency

On Monday 29 December a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 with landing gear problems made a safe "non-standard" landing at Gatwick Airport, which was forced to delay outbound flights with all incoming aircraft diverted to other airports.

The aircraft had left Gatwick at 11:30 for what should have been a 10.45hrs non-stop flight to Las Vegas.  There were 447 passengers on board.  Once airborne the crew detected a possible problem with the landing gear and after consultation with Virgin Atlantic engineering decided to burn off fuel and return to base.  Two low passes of the airport with the “gear” down confirmed that a pair of landing bogies were not in position. 

Television coverage showed the 747 coming to a rest after a bumpy but otherwise controlled landing.  The majority of passengers flew to Las Vegas the next day on a special service.  The aborted flight lasted just under four hours.

Gatwick itself was closed for around four hours, highlighting the problems associated with an emergency closure of the world’s busiest single runway airport, and for the wrong reasons underlining the need for a second runway.

Just the previous week Gatwick had announced the implementation of Amadeus' cloud-based Airport-Collaborative Decision Making Portal, increasing runway capacity to 55 flights per hour and an estimated 2m passengers per annum.
www.gatwickairport.com   www.amadeus.com/airport    www.virgin-atlantic.com

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