Antonov lands without nose gear

A DAALO Airline Antonov landed without its nosewheel in Bender Qassim International Airport, Somalia on Monday. The cargo and passenger plane’s Russian pilot managed to keep the plane on the unpaved runway and without causing a fire; fortunate as the airport has no fire or emergency response services.

Details are sketchy but it has been suggested that the plane was an An-26. Daalo Airline, the national carrier for the Republic of Djibouti (the former Somali Democratic Republic) in east Africa, operates the Ukrainian-built Antonov passenger and cargo planes across the horn of Africa using Russian crews.

This is an unfortunate time for another accident with an Antonov coming in the same week that the UAE has banned their use in its airspace. However, as Alexander Smolin, general manager of Sky Support Service in Sharjah said at the news of the ban, the aircraft are sturdy and that accidents are usually the result of “crew mistreatment of the equipment” not the plane itself. “This aircraft is as safe as any aircraft,” he said.

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