This past Monday, an ATR 72 belonging to Air Algerie failed to lower its nose gear as it came in for landing in Ghardaia. The incident provoked a large response from the airport’s emergency services, but neither crew nor passengers sustained any injuries. Photos emerged a few days later depicting the collapsed gear.

Air Algérie ATR 72
An Air Algérie ATR 72 came to a stop on its nose after landing at Ghardaia’s Noumerate Airport on Tuesday. Photo: Getty Images

Five firetrucks on the scene

An Air Algerie ATR 72 turboprop with registration 7T-VUK suffered a collapse of the nose gear when operating flight AH-6200 from Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG) in Algiers to Ghardaia Noumerate Airport (GHA) on March 1st.

As reported by the Aviation Herald, the plane landed at 20:44 local time. Airport emergency services met the plane, whose pilots had informed the tower that they could not extend the nose gear while on approach.

Air Algerie issued the following statement regarding the incident,

“Technical incident without consequences (totally controlled) in the parking lot of Ghardaia airport following the collapse of the nose wheel of an ATR AH coming from Algiers.”

Air Algerie operates a fleet of 15 ATR 72 turboprops. Photo: Gyrostat via Wikimedia Commons

Air Algerie’s ATR 72 fleet

Air Algerie has a fleet of 15 ATR 72s with an average age of 14.6 years – the oldest being 20.6 years old, and the youngest just over 6 years. The plane involved in Monday’s incident is one of the oldest in the fleet at 20.2. Before joining Air Algerie’s fleet in 2003 it flew for now-defunct compatriot Khalifa Airways.

The state-owned airline also operates a fleet of eight Airbus A330s and 32 Boeing 737s. Of the latter, five are of the -600 variety, two of the -700, and the remaining 25 are -800s. Things are set to change for the carrier as the Algerian government has announced plans to launch a new domestic airline. The intention is for Air Algerie to focus instead on international routes. Meanwhile, the country’s borders remain closed since March 17th last year.

Other temperamental nose gears

Nose gears can get up to a whole lot of shenanigans. A little over a month ago, an A320neo from Turkish leisure specialist Pegasus landed in Basel with its nose gear facing the wrong direction.

At the beginning of 2020, another turboprop, a WestJet Dash 8 also had its nose gear collapse as it touched down at Terrace Northwest Regional Airport in British Columbia. The gear lowered on approach, but collapsed before the plane came to a complete stop on the runway.