Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Turkish Airways on the runway!

Turkish Airlines created a big problem. The inbound flight to Kathmandu from Istanbul on the morning of 4th March was arriving as usual, just a little delayed. Fog (or so they say) made the runway a little hard to see, but the pilots were confident they could land on Tribhuvan International Airport's only runway. They were wrong. The plane tried to land, oh, she really did want to, but instead, she skidded off the runway and landed in a ditch. Fortunately, no one was hurt, just the poor old plane. But now what? Because the airport only has one runway, everything shut down. International flights were canceled, domestic flights canceled, and people were stuck, both here in Kathmandu, and those trying to fly in. (Many of Nepalis fly to Doha and Dubai for work, and thousands were stranded in Kathmandu, scared they would lose the rare contracts they secured overseas). What a mess! Four days passed before they could move the Airbus 330 off the runway. How did they do it? Well, they propped the nose on the back of a pickup truck, and drove along until - whoops, the plane won't turn the corner like the truck will! They stopped moving the plane then. After only two days, they resumed domestic flights, right when we were planning a trip to Pokhara. So we got an up close and personal view of the wreckage, both flying out and coming back to Kathmandu! Enjoy!

Noses to the ground, Turkish Airlines 726 crashes in Kathmandu
Something just isn't right...?
Airplane evacuation slides, still sitting on the runway a week later
Whoa! The plane's about to fall off my truck! (the bus driver from our small plane actually slowed down as we drove by so we could take pictures!)
The entire front landing gear was gone, but the back held up. The engines were pretty damaged
Happy flying in Kathmandu!

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