A Nepal Airlines Airbus A320 on its way from Dubai to Kathmandu experienced a suspected hydraulic leak, forcing the aircraft to abandon its flight and land back in Dubai. The crew was alerted to the problem as the plane climbed through FL290, approximately 30 minutes into its journey out of Dubai. After burning off fuel, the A320 landed safely in Dubai around 70 minutes after departure.
Suspected hydraulic leak on A320-200
On February 5th, Nepal Airlines Flight RA230 took off from Dubai en route to Kathmandu when it suffered a suspected hydraulic leak. The crew observed a low hydraulic fluid indication for the green hydraulic system as the aircraft climbed through FL290. The crew decided to return to Dubai around 30 minutes into the flight.
Nepal Airlines Flight RA230 from Dubai to Kathmandu turned back after a suspected hydraulic leak. Photo: FlightRadar24.com
According to flight data from FlightRadar24.com, the flight took off at 00:27 UTC and reached an altitude of 29,000 ft at 01:00. The aircraft turned around above the Gulf of Oman and headed back to Dubai.
After burning off fuel, the A320 landed safely at Dubai International Airport at 01:49, just about 70 minutes after its departure. The plane touched down on Dubai’s runway 30L and remained on the ground for four hours.
The aircraft later flew to Kathmandu
After spending some time on the ground in Dubai, the aircraft was approved to perform the flight on the same day. According to The Aviation Herald, the A320 was permitted to operate the flight again”under minimum equipment list requirements with a green hydraulic system accumulator disabled due to an internal accumulator leaking†
The second flight departed from Dubai at 05:51 UTC, over five hours after its initial scheduled time, and touched down in Kathmandu at 09:17 without incident. The A320 then remained on the ground in Kathmandu for over eight hours before it returned to service. Data from FlightRadar24.com shows the plane operated Flight RA229 from Kathmandu to Dubai around eight hours and 30 minutes after landing.
Nepal Airlines 9N-AKX
The affected aircraft is an Airbus A320-200 which is less than seven years old. Throughout its lifespan, the aircraft has been operated solely by Nepal Airlines. The carrier took delivery of the plane in May 2015, which flew from Airbus’ Hamburg-Finkenwerder facility in Germany to Kathmandu via Doha.
Nepal Airlines has given this aircraft the name ‘Lumbini.’ The Nepali word translates to English as “lovely” and also refers to an important Buddhist pilgrimage site and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal where Gautama Buddha is said to have been born.
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