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VNA looking for lost wheel, seeking information from France

Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 12:55 GMT+7

Vietnam Airlines has mobilized forces to search for the front landing wheel of an ATR-72 plane that was found missing after the plane landed in Da Nang Airport on Monday, October 21. 

>> VNA plane missing front wheel after landing The national flag carrier also said it would send the damaged section of the aircraft to which the wheel was attached to France to identify the cause of the incident, said Ho Minh Tan, head of the CAAV’s Flight Safety Standard Department.

The part will be sent to BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'aviation civile), the French authority responsible for safety investigations into accidents or incidents in civil aviation, for examination and conclusion. Meanwhile, the firm has mobilized all possible forces to look for the missing wheel at the Cat Bi Airport in northern Hai Phong city, where the plane took off, and in Da Nang Airport area, as well as other possible locations. Yesterday afternoon, the search in Da Nang was ended after many airline experts from CAAV said that the wheel could have been lost some time during the flight. Meanwhile, a group of 20 has been searching for the wheel in the Cai Bi airport area. They also coordinated with local authorities and residents to expand their search to the airport’s surrounding areas. However, they have yet to find the wheel or any broken pieces of the part that had held it.  Lai Xuan Thanh, head of CAAV, said the search would continue today, October 23, in areas outside the airport. Meanwhile, the entire fleet of 14 ATR-72 planes of the VNA has resumed work after undergoing technical examinations yesterday. The fleet had earlier been suspended by the CAAV following the incident. As previously reported, the aircraft took off from Cat Bi Airport in the northern city of Hai Phong at 12:45 pm and landed in central Da Nang City at 2:15 on schedule on October 21. After all 41 passengers and the crew had left the aircraft, airport technicians carried out a routine examination and found that it had lost one of its two front wheels. Further examination showed that the aircraft’s front shaft had been broken at one side, causing the loss of the wheel. Le Truong Giang, the spokesman of the national flag carrier, said this is the first incident of its kind to happen to VNA and an investigation is underway.



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