China’s troubled MA-60 turboprop aircraft suffered another mishap this week, when the plane’s landing gear failed at Zhengzhou’s Xinzheng International Airport.
According to a Xinhua report, the aircraft, which belonged to Xi’an-based Joy Air, had just landed with 37 passengers and seven crew members onboard when its front landing gear failed, causing the plane to collapse on to the tarmac.
Nobody was injured in the incident, according to a statement by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), but operations at the airport were temporarily suspended, causing 114 subsequent inbound and outbound flights to be delayed.
The Joy Air flight was had just arrived from Taiyuan, the capital of northern China’s Shanxi province, and was due to fly onwards from Zhengzhou to Hefei in Anhui province.
The Joy Air failure marks the latest in a string of incidents involving the MA-60, including several involving its landing gear.
In January 2009, an MA-60 operated by Zest Airways in the Philippines veered sharply after landing at Caticlan Airport and crashed into a concrete barrier. Then in 2011 an MA-60 operated by Bolivia’s TAM was forced to land without its front landing year fully deployed, after the mechanism failed. Then in 2013 Myanma Airways flight also swerved off the runway after touching down at Kawthaung, in the far south of the country. This was one of three separate incidents involving the MA-60 in the space of two months in 2013, including two in Myanmar and one in Indonesia.
The MA-60 was also temporarily suspended in Indonesia in 2011, after a Merpati flight crashed into the sea off the coast of West Papua, killing all 27 people onboard. Pilot error was blamed for the incident.
There are currently approximately 80 MA-60s operating in the world, all with airlines in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The aircraft is made by the Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation.