Miracle landing at New York airport after nose-gear failure
New York, NY, United States (4E) – A jumbo jet’s twisted front landing gear miraculously corrected just seconds before landing at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport last Wednesday as panicked and crying passengers coming from Rio de Janeiro braced themselves for a crash.
Airport authorities reported that the nose gear of the jet dropped down as the jet approached Kennedy, but the wheels were turned at a right angle.
Controllers radioed one of the pilots saying “it appears cocked at 90 degrees.”
The plane circled two times around the airport to enable crews to get into position and for control tower to assess the problem with the front wheel.
Authorities reported that nobody from the 190 people on aboard TAM Flight 8078 was hurt.
“It was like the hand of God turned the wheel,” said a Port Authority cop who was part of the disaster-response crew deployed to the tarmac.
Passengers were asked to prepare for impact by putting their heads in their hands.
Capt. Moacir de Oliveira, 58, who has 2,800 hours of experience on the A330, proceeded with an emergency landing after close consultation with his flight crew, the airline’s headquarters in Brazil and controllers and then the nose gear suddenly locked itself in the correct direction.
“It appears as you were landing the nose gear did straighten out,” the controller radioed as the plane rolled down Kennedy’s Bay Runway, which at 14,500 feet is one of the nation’s longest.
The landing was so smooth that the relieved passengers applauded. The Airbus made it to a taxiway and the awaiting emergency vehicles under its own power.
Airline spokesman Carlos Teciano said that “the crew took all necessary precautions, and landing occurred in total safety.”