A Buddha Air flight with 73 passengers on board, went through hours of trauma and panic after they were informed by the air hostess that the plane’s landing gear had encountered some technical issue due to which it will not be able to land in Biratnagar (Viratnagar) airport and was being taken to Kathmandu.
The Buddha Air’s BH 702 ATR-72 with 73 passengers on board including 68 adults, two children and three infants, had taken off for Biratnagar from Kathmandu but returned back a half-hour later after the air hostess informed the passengers about the malfunction. Panic waved among the passengers as a problem with the landing gear in a flight usually meant a forced landing or a plane crash.
While it has been a common practice for flights from Kathmandu to come back to the airport due to low visibility and bad weather, this time it was different. The pilot tried to land the plane several times at the Tribhuvan airport but had failed. The air hostess then told the passengers, “fuel is being burnt to ensure that the plane does not crash and efforts are on to make a forced landing in Kathmandu”. Despite her ensuring safety, the passengers on board could not help control their growing fears.
The sight of foam on the runway, heavy presence of security personnel including ambulance, fire brigade at the airport below fanned more panic for the already terrified passengers. The pilot’s announcement, “now the plane landing is being attempted for the last time,” kept them at the edges of their seat.
But then a miracle happened! When the plane was attempting the landing for the final time, the ATC informed the pilot that the rear landing gear has opened so they can finally land now.
After being in the air for two hours, the landing gear finally worked and landed safely. All the crew, passengers, airport officials on the ground took a sigh of relief witnessing this miracle happening to their lives.