The flight crew of an aircraft whose nose wheels fell off moments before it landed in Vietnam’s Central Highlands on Thursday night has been suspended from work to assist an investigation into the cause of the serious incident.
Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), confirmed on Saturday that the agency had imposed the suspension upon the aircrew of flight VJ365 operated by low-cost carrier Vietjet on November 29.
The crew includes the pilots, flight attendants, as well as other aviation personnel whose service was required for the operation of the flight.
The captain of the flight was Ramon Alexander Carag Avila, who is from the Philippines, while the first officer was Raul Vidal Alves, a Spanish national, according to a source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Investigators from the CAAV have retrieved the black box and other documents relating to the flight for their probe.
Flight VJ365, carrying 207 passengers, arrived at Buon Ma Thuot Airport, located in the namesake city, from Ho Chi Minh City at 11:03 pm that day.
Both wheels of the nose landing gear of the aircraft flew off during landing, but the plane managed to safely stop on the runway.
The flight crew deployed emergency procedures and evacuated passengers in accordance with protocols.
A representative from Vietjet said on Friday morning that all 207 passengers safely exited the aircraft.
Six people were slightly affected and immediately taken to the hospital for health checks. All of them were later discharged in stable health conditions.
The flight was operated by the Airbus A321 aircraft coded VN-653, which was delivered over two weeks ago, according to the carrier.
Buon Ma Thuot Airport resumed regular operations after the plane was towed to a hangar at 12:00 pm on Friday and the damaged runway was fixed.
Authorities also located one of the missing wheels still in one piece, while the remaining wheel was found with only its rim as the tire had apparently fallen off.
Thang, the CAAV head, previously stated that technical factors had been ruled out as the plane did not encounter any technical problem.
“The plane was in good condition prior to landing. Weather conditions were also favorable, with 10km visibility,” he elaborated.
“The pilots didn’t request ground support before landing.”