April 15, 2024

Columbus Post

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Trouble landing: KLM plane threatens to run out of fuel

Trouble landing: KLM plane threatens to run out of fuel

A Boeing 737 had a flap problem and was aborted to land in Amsterdam. Then the KLM jet also ran out of fuel.

Flight KL1074 from Manchester to Amsterdam usually takes 50 minutes. However, on March 15 it took much longer. Because the Boeing 737-900 faced difficulties during landing. About 150 meters above the ground, the crew aborted the approach and climbed back to over 900 meters.

The KLM cockpit crew reported “mayday mayday mayday” to air traffic control – meaning flight emergency. One of the pilots explained that there was a “folding overspeed” in the strong winds that could be heard in the radio recordings. In other words: the landing flaps unfolded faster than intended. According to the pilot, the flaps were then in the 25th position and could not be moved at first.

Not on short slopes

It takes a few minutes to work through the checklists, the pilot continued. “However, fuel is also running out,” he said. You will land with kerosene after 30 minutes of flight time. Also: “There may be an abnormal flap structure during descent.” So the pilot was concerned that Amsterdam's first proposed runway 04/22, only 2020 meters long, might be too short.

The KLM Boeing 737 flew in a long circle and returned to the 3,453 meter long runway 09/27, on which the crew intended to land on the first attempt. 20 minutes after the aborted landing, the jet with registration number PH-BXS – now with functional flaps – landed safely at Schiphol Airport. Final flight time is 1:18 minutes.

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Again nine hours later

The Boeing 737-900 was then grounded for more than nine hours before departing for Edinburgh. It has since returned to normal activities.