A QANTAS flight was forced to abort its landing on final approach to Sydney Airport this afternoon after a “malfunction” alert sounded in the cockpit moments after its wheels were lowered.
The Dash 8-300 flight from Canberra to Sydney was descending to runway about 1.45pm and was at 1300ft when the captain suddenly pushed the thrust, raised the wheels and climbed away from the busy air hub before turning the plane out to sea.
Passengers remained calm and believed the aborted landing may have been associated with the strong winds that had buffeted the full QF-1474 flight for a lot of its journey. Then the captain advised a malfunction alert had been detected and he would have to “go around” so he and his co-pilot could go through a checklist of procedures before attempting another landing.
A fire truck and several airport safety vehicles and emergency services were scrambled in the interim.
The captain was very calm and in straight tones reassured passengers there was nothing to be too alarmed about.
The aircraft landed at 2.18pm with smoke coming from the left-hand side of the wheel and brake section and was shadowed along the strip by the emergency vehicles before pulling to the side of the airport.
There appeared to be a large hole in the wheel from the hard brake landing that caused excessive heat and smoke.
Passengers were advised to remain in the seats and were not allowed to leave the aircraft till fire crews had made an exterior inspection.
“I apologise for the delay, safety is my main concern and I was taking no chances with this kind of malfunction,” the captain said over the cabin speaker.
There was great relief when after 20 minutes passengers were allowed to disembark.
The plane was taken out of service and being inspected to determine the cause of the malfunction.
A Qantas spokeswoman confirmed the incident and said the landing procedures of the aircraft and its 50 passengers was “textbook”.
She confirmed one of the aircraft tyres burst on landing. But there was no danger since there were double sets of wheels.
The “malfunction” that prompted the aborted landing was still being looked at.