Thai Airways pilot saves 344 passengers from disaster
-A Monitor Report 01 Mar, 2019 | 198 Views | -+
Bangkok : One of the doors of a Thai Airways plane was left open in-flight, forcing the pilot to dump thousands of gallons of fuel in the English Channel before making an emergency landing at London Heathrow.
Thai Airways flight TG917 left London at 9:35 pm on February 13 and was bound for Bangkok when the incident occurred.
Shortly after leaving Heathrow, a warning light appeared, alerting the pilot that the cargo hold door was not shut securely.
Flight radars show how the concerned captain circled above the English Channel multiple times while burning and dumping fuel before bringing the Boeing 777-300ER back to Heathrow to land.
According to the Boeing website, the aircraft can carry up to 47,890 gallons in its fuel tank, which can cost upwards of £60,000 to refuel based on current fuel prices.
A total of 344 passengers and 20 crew on board were taken off the flight while engineers tried to identify the problem.
Airline officials eventually found that the door was secure but there was a problem with the warning light system.
Flight Lieutenant Pratana Patanasiri, Vice President, Aviation Safety, Security and Standards Department said, "The plane was at 8,000 feet before the incident, when the light appeared. The sensor for the cargo hold door look system showed an irregularity."
Passengers followed the instructions and waited at the gate while engineers and maintenance staff checked the plane and it was refuelled.
"Flight engineers took about two hours to check the whole aircraft. They found the notification light issue, there were no hazardous irregularities. The flight departed again at 00.32 on February 14. All crews arrived in Bangkok safely on the same day at 18.14, local time," Flight Lieutenant Patanasiri added.
The Vice President also appreciated passengers' understanding and patience.
He mentioned, "On behalf of the Thai Airways cabin crew, I would like to thank all passengers for cooperating with us in this emergency situation."
Sun Online Travel previously revealed what would happen if a plane door was to fully open during a flight. The difference in air pressure would suck anything out of the plane which was not held down. There would also be a huge oxygen deficiency for any passengers who did not have an oxygen mask on.