A KLM Royal Dutch Airlines passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing at Shannon Airport today after it suffered engine problems over the Atlantic.
Flight KL-765 was en route from the Caribbean Island of Bonaire to Amsterdam in the Netherlands when the crew declared an emergency at around 8.30am. There were 224 passengers and crew on board.
At the time, the twin-engine Airbus A330-200 was about 500kms south west of Shannon when the crew advised air traffic controllers they had a problem with the left side engine.
The pilot shut down the troubled engine forcing the crew to declare an emergency and divert and land as soon as possible. The flight was cleared to reroute towards Shannon while emergency crews at the airport were alerted and placed on standby.
With reverse thrust from just one engine available to help the plane stop, there were concerns that the aircraft’s braking system could overheat or catch fire during the emergency landing.
Airport crash crews took up positions at strategic locations close to the runway so that they could quickly pursue the jet once it had stopped. The jet landed safely at 9.37am.
Emergency vehicles surrounded the aircraft on the runway while a fire officer moved in to check for evidence of fire or overheating in the undercarriage.
Once it was confirmed that there was no fire the all-clear was given to the crew and the jet was able to taxi to the terminal building where engineers were waiting to investigate the problem.
Two replacement aircraft were flown to Shannon to bring them on to Amsterdam while passengers were taken to the terminal pending their arrival. The airline sent two smaller Boeing 737-800 jets as all the passengers could not be accommodated on just one.
A KLM spokesman said: “Due to a technical problem the KL-765 landed safely at Shannon, Ireland. Passengers and crew were not in danger. The passengers travelled to Amsterdam Schiphol with another KLM airplane.”
Last Friday, Irish Coast Guard and RNLI lifeboat stations along the west coast were placed on standby when a private jet suffered an engine failure over the Atlantic.