Cargo plane escapes crash after botched take-off in Brussels Airport
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Cargo plane escapes crash after botched take-off in Brussels Airport

© Belga

A major accident was avoided in Brussels Airport on Thursday after a cargo airplane was forced to make an emergency landing following a faulty take-off.

The tyres of eight landing wheels burst as the Spain-bound DHL plane screeched back onto the paved lane, coming to a stop merely 300 metres before the end of the runway.

Pilots encountered technical problems as they attempted to depart the airport in Zaventem at around 6:30 PM on Thursday.

“They only managed to lift the aircraft’s nose off of the ground when taking off,” DHL representative Freek De Witte told HLN.

Noticing that the speed they were going at still allowed it, they quickly decided to abort take-off and engage in an emergency landing.

“Eventually, the aircraft came to a stop at 300 metres before the end of the runway,” De Witte added.

The fire department had to be called on-site to cool-off the tires, which overheated significantly during the difficult landing manoeuvre, causing the take-off strip to shut until late at night.

“During such a braking feat, the aircraft’s tyres absorb all the impact, energy and heat, which explains the eight busted [tyres],” he said.

An investigation has been launched by the Air Accident Investigation Unit, a federal agency managed by the transports ministry, with De Witte saying that the cause of the problem remained unclear.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times