“Getting on an airplane is just like riding a car,” a proverb says.
In fact, you have a 1 in 114 chance of dying in a car crash, compared to 1 in 9,821 in an air crash, according to Fortune, an American multinational business magazine.
But recently airplane crashes have been all over the news, one of which is the Saudia airlines plane that was forced to make an emergency landing at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in the coastal city of Jeddah.
The crash injured over 50 passengers and another was left with fractures.
A close call
Saudi’s Aviation Investigation Bureau (AIB) said in a statement that a technical malfunction in the plane’s “hydraulic” system forced the pilot to make an emergency landing.
The Airbus A330-200, the AIB explained, had been leased by the airline.
Flight SV3818 had taken off as scheduled from the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah heading to the Dhaka airport in Bangladesh, with 141 passengers onboard.
The plane was forced to reroute when it experienced technical problems.
An investigation has been launched to pinpoint the exact cause of the incident, the AIB added.
Videos circulated on social media showed the moment the plane touched down in Jeddah.
The pilot is a hero
The airplane suffered a malfunction with its landing gear mid-flight, and it was forced to circle for several hours around Jeddah, making two low passes before it landed safely at 10 pm local time.
According to Ajel, a website for breaking news, the safe landing was the result of the captain’s proficiency.
“The pilot made several attempts but failed to correct the malfunction with the front landing gear. Subsequently, the Airbus 330 made an emergency landing with the nose gear retracted,” Abdurahman Al Tayyib, a spokesman for Saudia airline was quoted as saying.
Firefighting and rescue teams were on alert at the airport to begin evacuating the passengers as soon as the plane landed.
In a similar incident in January 2014, a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 767 jet made an emergency landing in Medina, injuring 29 people, according to the aviation authority.
Another airline disaster
The Saudi Arabian Airlines close-call comes less than a week after one of the worst aviation disasters in recent times: The Havana plane crash.
The passenger plane was carrying more than 100 people when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Havana’s main airport, leaving only 3 survivors in critical condition, according to Time Magazine.
Time reported authorities saying: “There were 104 passengers and six crew members on the flight operated by the Cuban state airline.”
It added that “the Boeing 737-201 was built in 1979 and rented by Cubana from Aerolineas Damojh, a small charter company that also goes by the name Global Air.”
It was Cuba’s third major aviation accident since 2010.
Here’s a footage of the accident from different angles: