Emergency landing at Zaventem sparks alarm

1st September 2006, Comments 0 comments

1 September 2006, BRUSSELS — An SN Brussels Airlines plane with 276 passengers made a successful emergency landing at Zaventem Airport on Thursday.

1 September 2006

BRUSSELS — An SN Brussels Airlines plane with 276 passengers made a successful emergency landing at Zaventem Airport on Thursday.

No one was injured in the incident, but widespread concern was reported in surrounding municipalities.

The Airbus 330 took off at 11.35am for a flight to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but encountered motor problems soon after take-off.

Airspace above Brussels was cleared and the plane flew for some time at a low altitude to use up its fuel.

The low-flying plane sparked concerns among residents in municipalities to the east of Brussels.

Fire fighters were placed on alert at Zaventem, but the plane eventually landed without problem at the Brussels airport.

A spokesman for SN Brussels could not confirm that the plane returned to the airport with one engine, stressing that an investigation was in process.

But a spokesman for the Belgian Cockpit Association, Pierre Ghyoot, said pilots learn how to react to motor problems in their first lesson. "And all modern jets can fly with one engine," he said.

The mayors of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre (Sint-Pieters-Woluwe) and Wezembeek-Oppem are now demanding that the shorter runway 20 no longer be used by large planes.

They suspect that engine problems are caused by planes having to gain altitude too quickly.

But Zaventem Airport operator BIAC has denied the claims. Aviation experts have also said the runway is perfectly okay to use.

One of Zaventem's runways, the 25L was out of operation due to maintenance works, which meant more planes were landing on  runway 25R and more take-offs occurred on runway 20.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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