A Turkish Airlines flight carrying 97 passengers made an emergency landing in Istanbul on Anzac Day after one of its engines burst into flames.
The plane apparently landed heavily on its first attempt, with an engine striking the ground at high speed. The plane then executed a “go around” to try again. Dramatic pictures show it aloft with flames trailing from the starboard engine.
Local media reported that all passengers and crew on flight TK1878 from Milan in Italy were evacuated via emergency slides at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. No injuries were reported.
Footage on NTV television showed smoke and flames issuing from one of the plane’s engines. Firefighters rushed to meet the plane on touchdown after it turned back.
Simon Hradesky’s authoritative Aviation Herald recorded:
A THY Turkish Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration TC-JPE performing flight TK-1878 from Milan Malpensa (Italy) to Istanbul (Turkey) with 97 passengers, landed on Istanbul Ataturk Airport’s runway 05 at 10:22L (07:22Z) but rolled right just before touchdown causing the right engine and wing to contact the runway and a hard touch down.
The crew initiated a go-around, then declared emergency due to an engine (V2527) inoperative. The crew subsequently reported an unsafe gear indication. The aircraft positioned for an emergency landing on runway 35L, touched down about 20 minutes after the go around, but with the right main gear collapsed the aircraft skidded on its right engine, with sparks and smoke trailing the engine, and veered right off the runway spinning nearly 180 degrees.
“The aircraft was evacuated via slides while emergency services started to spray the aircraft. There were no injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage to the right hand main gear, right hand engine and its pylon as well as to leading and trailing edge high lift devices at the right hand wing.”
At about the same time, not far away, more than 10,000 Australians and New Zealanders stood together on the shores of Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula at a ceremony to honour the Anzac troops who fought and died there a century ago.
Visitors from both sides of the Tasman joined those from Britain and other countries, and the Turkish hosts, at Anzac Cove on Friday night and into the dawn hours of Saturday.
Australian and New Zealand soldiers stormed ashore at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 in a valiant but doomed military effort.
Those attending the ceremonies at Gallipoli over the weekend included Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, his New Zealand counterpart John Key, Prince Charles and Prince Harry.
Written by Peter Needham