Passengers on a Myanmar National Airlines plane experienced the ride of their lives over the weekend, as the landing gear of their Embraer jet failed and pilot Captain Myat Moe Aung had to improvise. Actually, he didn’t improvise so much as follow emergency procedures, and proceeded to save everybody on board.
On a flight from Yangon to Mandalay on Sunday, the captain realized things were about to get bumpy when the front wheels failed to release. Given that those wheels are pretty key in achieving a smooth landing, the pilot was forced to attempt an emergency landing without any wiggle room, according to CNN.
The video of the landing itself is as terrifying as it is incredible. The nose of the plane remains upright for the initial part of the landing before it dropped carefully to the ground. The plane continued to skid on the tarmac for about 25 seconds before coming to a stop.
The plane circled the airport twice while the crew tried to determine if the landing gear was indeed down or not, and when it became clear that the wheels weren’t going to work, the pilot executed an emergency fuel burn to reduce the plane’s landing weight, brought the aircraft to a runway and managed to make a harsh skid relatively gentle.
The plane’s seven crew members and 89 passengers apparently exited “without a scratch,” albeit undoubtedly shaken as hell.
This is actually the second plane incident to happen in Myanmar last week. On May 8, a pilot skidded off the runway at Yangon’s airport after landing in bad weather, injuring 17.
Despite the scariness of seeing something as unsettling as a plane landing without its front wheels, maybe there’s some reassurance in the fact that a competent pilot can still get the passengers out safely, even when equipment fails in a major way.