London: A hero British Airways pilot has been praised after he dramatically grounded a packed passenger plane despite two of its five sets of wheels malfunctioning.
The BA295 flight, which was bound for Chicago, returned to London’s Heathrow Airport after the ‘technical problems’ yesterday afternoon and was immediately met by fire engines on the runway.
Passengers described the experience as ‘very scary’ and praised the pilot who managed to smoothly land the Boeing 747 after turning the aircraft around just two hours into the journey.
A replacement aircraft set off for Chicago at 9pm last night – nine hours after the original flight departure time – but some passengers said they were too distressed to board.
There were more than 300 people on board the original stricken flight – including 293 passengers and 14 crews members – when it turned around just south of Iceland, an airline spokesman said
Several of those on board took to Twitter to share their concerns and thank the pilot for safely landing the faulty plane.
Muriel Gray tweeted: ‘The hugest kisses and hugs to the British Airways pilot who just landed the plane my husband was on when the landing gear failed.
‘Husband says BA pilot typically understated despite telling passengers how close a call that just was.’
Passenger Kevin Lang told MailOnline: ‘It was a dramatic and stressful episode. It all started about two or three hours into the flight when we were just south of Iceland.
‘The pilot came on and said there was a technical fault and we had to go back to London. He then said they would have to jettison fuel and all the passengers would see this but was reassuring us not be alarmed.
‘We could tell how serious it was and he also said we would see fire engines when we landed.