LAHORE - A 12-member team of engineers and technicians reached Lahore on Thursday to rescue the aircraft of a private airline which skidded off the runway at the Allama Iqbal International Airport a couple of days back, said a team member while talking to The Nation.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) closed run way for flight operations on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The private airlines flight NL-48 carrying 172 passengers was coming from Karachi. “During landing the aircraft skidded off the runway at about 3.25pm but all the passengers remained unhurt.

A rescue team member said that plane while landing met a bird hit and its landing gear was totally damaged due to which it skidded off the runway and went on the ground.

An engineer said that its left engine also touched ground but it was not damaged. He said that steering cable of the plane was damaged due to which Pilot lost control over the plane.

Rescue team was headed by Engineer Aslam Arooj while among the other included one engineer and ten technicians. To a question engineer said that it could take two to three months to make the plane airworthy. It depends upon the airline management that how they get it repaired, through Insurance Company or on airline’s own expense.  

The main runway was closed for all flights, forcing the PIA and other foreign and private airlines to use ‘standby runway’ but on Thursday both runways were opened for every type of air traffic, he said.

It is worth mentioning here that a PIA plane skidded off the runway on its landing due to heavy rain in August 2012. The ATR plane, flight PK-653, was on a routine flight from Islamabad to Lahore and was carrying 42 passengers and four crew members. Then pilot controlled the plane when it skidded but the main gear of the aircraft collapsed.