World

World Relief After Passenger Jet With 89 People Aboard Lands Safely Using Only Its Rear Wheels

Rescue team gather near a Myanmar National Airline (MNA) plane after an accident at Mandalay International airport in Myanmar on May 12, 2019.

(YANGON, Myanmar) — A Myanmar National Airlines plane made an emergency landing at Mandalay International Airport on Sunday, using only its rear wheels after the front landing gear failed to deploy.

All 82 passengers and seven crew members aboard Flight UB103 from Yangon were declared safe after the Brazilian-made Embraer 190-LR touched down on its rear sets of wheels before the plane’s nose tilted down to scrape the runway, sending off a shower of sparks as it slowed to a stop.

Kyaw San, a spokesman for the airport, said the pilot informed the control tower before landing that he was unable to pull down the nose wheels.

A statement on the airline’s Facebook page explained that the plane’s EICAS — Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System — indicated a failure of the front landing gear to deploy. The pilot tried a backup emergency procedure to pull down the wheels but that was unsuccessful. The aircraft did two fly-bys past the tower for air controllers to check visually whether the wheels had deployed.

The captain followed emergency procedures to dump fuel to reduce the landing weight, and made a safe landing at 9:09 a.m., said the statement.

Video apparently shot by one of the passengers and posted online showed an urgent but orderly evacuation of the passengers and crew. Passengers were seen walking away from the plane across the airfield, several of them smiling.

Flight operations at the airport were temporarily suspended, and allowed to resume after about 2 ½ hours for smaller aircraft. The runways were expected to be reopened for use by larger Boeing and Airbus aircraft by late afternoon.

On Wednesday, a Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft skidded off the runway after landing in bad weather at Yangon’s airport, injuring at least 15 passengers and crew but none critically. The fuselage of the plane, a Bombardier Dash 8, was broken in at least two spots, along with the wings.

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World North Korea Has Fired Several Short-Range "Projectiles" Into the Sea, South Korea Says

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea on Saturday fired several unidentified short-range projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said, a likely sign of Pyongyang’s growing frustration at stalled diplomatic talks with Washington meant to provide coveted sanctions relief in return for nuclear disarmament.

The South initially reported a single missile was fired, but later issued a statement that said “several projectiles” had been launched and that they flew up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) before splashing into the sea toward the northeast.

South Korea’s military has bolstered its surveillance in case there are additional weapons launches, and South Korean and U.S. authorities are analyzing the details. If it’s confirmed that the North fired banned ballistic missiles, it will be the first such launch since the North’s November 2017 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. That year saw a string of increasingly powerful weapons tests from the North and a belligerent response from President Donald Trump that had many in the region fearing war.

The firing Saturday comes amid a diplomatic breakdown that has followed the failed summit earlier this year between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the North’s pursuit of nuclear bombs that can accurately target the U.S. mainland. Experts believe that the North has viable shorter range nuclear armed missiles but still needs more tests to perfect its longer-range weapons.

During the diplomacy that followed the North’s weapons tests of 2017, Kim Jong Un said that the North would not test nuclear devices or ICBMs.

These short-range projectiles don’t appear to violate that self-imposed moratorium, and may instead be a way to register Kim’s displeasure with Washington and the state of talks meant to provide sanctions relief for disarmament without having the diplomacy collapse.