**Update: 03/03/20 @ 09:00 UTC – Response received from Pakistan International Airlines. Official statement included below.**
On February 28th, a PIA Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320-200 was on its climb out of Dubai International Airport en route to Lahore (Pakistan) when the crew had to stop their ascent. This is because one of the landing gear doors was not closing. As a result, the aircraft was forced to return to Dubai.
Below is a recent statement received from PIA regarding the incident:
“The aircraft operating the flight PK204, developed a
technical snag and had to make an overnight stop at DXB for maintenance. All passengers were shifted to the hotel and an alternative aircraft was sent to DXB to bring back the passengers of said flight. The snag was
removed and the aircraft is back to flying duty after all necessary checks, meeting operational safety requirements.”
According to The Aviation Herald, the aircraft involved was an Airbus A320 with registration AP-BLU. The aircraft was performing flight PK204 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Lahore (Pakistan).
The incident occurred as it was climbing out of Dubai’s runway 30R. However, the crew stopped the climb at 4,000 feet due to a gear indication as one of the gear doors didn’t close.
The aircraft immediately made a return to Dubai and performed a safe landing on runway 30L – a mere 20 minutes after departure. The aircraft then remained on the ground at DXB for about 6 hours.
Despite whatever maintenance and repairs took place in Dubai, there must have been subsequent complications. This is because the departed for the flight diverted to Karachi (Pakistan), landing there about seven hours past its scheduled arrival in Lahore.
According to Planespotters, the aircraft involved is 14 years old and has flown with a number of other airlines previously. They include Iceland Express, Czech Airways, and SmartWings.
Numerous landing gear incidents
It’s already been an eventful season for aircraft suffering from landing gear issues. Here are a few of the notable stories we’ve covered thus far:
- On 16 February, a Virgin Australia Boeing 777 landing in Los Angeles had issues with the hydraulics on one of the landing gear wheels, which did not deploy correctly. As a result, smoke was seen coming from the aircraft. This was caused by the friction of the wheel brake pad as the aircraft rolled on the runway.
- On February 7th an Icelandair Boeing 757-200 flying from Berlin Tegel (Germany) to Keflavik (Iceland) had its right main landing gear collapse upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport.
- An Air Canada aircraft had to return to Madrid on 3 February due a problem with the landing gear. Initial reports stated that the Boeing 767, heading to Toronto from Madrid, had a part of the landing gear come off and fall into the engine. Subsequent statements by the airline indicated that the incident involved a ruptured tire, with tire fragments entering the engine.
- On 22 December 2019, a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 had its left landing gear collapse, causing a shower of sparks as the aircraft landed at Denver International Airport. The aircraft was attended by emergency services, but nobody was injured in the incident.
We’re not sure why there are so many landing gear incidents taking place in the last several months. It’s likely that the frequency is normal but we are now noticing these incidents more.
Simple Flying made attempts to contact Pakistan International Airlines for additional information – primarily with regards to fleet composition. However, no response has been received at the time of publishing this article. We’ll update this post if any new information is received.