A Batik Air A320-200 suffered nose gear issues as it took off from Jambi, Indonesia. When the plane landed back nearly half an hour later due to the issue, the nose gear was found to have rotated 90° and ground down. Let’s find out more about this bizarre incident.
Nose gear issues
The incident occurred on Batik Air flight ID-6803, operating a routine domestic service between the busy port city of Jambi and the capital of Jakarta. The one hour and ten minute journey between the cities is a popular one, with eight daily flights even during the pandemic.
ID-6803 departed Jambi Airport at 13:27 local time, slightly later than its scheduled departure time of 13:10. However, issues began during the rollout itself, with observers reporting seeing fire, sparks, and smoke from the nose gear, according to The Aviation Herald.
The plane took off successfully, but the crew reportedly received an indication of technical errors. Seeing this, the pilots stopped the climb at just 3,000 feet and opted to return to Jambi for an emergency landing.
After circling near the airport for a few minutes (possibly to burn fuel or to prepare for landing), the aircraft touched down in Jambi at 13:51 local time, less than 25 minutes after taking off. There were 117 passengers and six crew members onboard, all of whom safely disembarked via stairs. However, the landing caused further damage to the nose gear.
Once the aircraft safely landed and came to a halt on the runway, the ground crew saw the damage to the nose gear. The landing nose gear had rotated 90 degrees and ground down into the runway. The image below shows the extent of the damage to the gear.
Batik Air is the full-service subsidiary of Lion Air, a major budget airline in the region and the country’s largest airline group (which includes Malindo Air). The carrier primarily flies to domestic destinations, connecting the vast Indonesian Archipelago.