Air Canada flight lands safely at Madrid’s Barajas airport after emergency landing

An Air Canada flight, with a damaged undercarriage, had been circling Madrid’s Barajas airport since 3pm trying to use up fuel before it made an emergency landing.

Air Canada flight lands safely at Madrid's Barajas airport after emergency landing
Fire engines pulled alongside the plane as it safely came to a halt. Photo: AFP

LATEST: The flight touched down shortly after 7.10pm on Monday.

AFP photographed the plane shortly after landing. 

Fire engines immediately appeared alongside the aircraft but no flames were apparent. 

A passenger on board recorded and then tweeted the moment of landing, and it seemed to be pretty smooth, considering the tense build up. 

Passengers could be heard giving the pilot a round of applause. 

The flight , number AC837, which took off from Madrid bound for Toronto called in the emergency after damaging the undercarriage during take off.

Photo: AFP

The Boeing 767 reportedly had 128 passengers on board.

Earlier the Spanish airforce set an F-18 to accompany the Air Canada aircraft  and examine the damage as it circled Madrid. Footage taken by a passenger on board shows the fighter jet alongside. 

Pilots' union Sepla reported that the aircraft had damaged its undercarriage and knocked out one engine and said it would be circling for three hours to burn fuel before attempting the landing.

It has been circling the airport while on the ground emergency vehicles line up next to the runway.

A sound recording was released of the pilot informing passengers of the plan for an emergency landing in which he informed them that although there was one wheel damaged, he did not forsee a problem in landing the aircraft.

 “We are going to land at Barajas airport but as the tanks are full of fuel we will continue to stay in the air until we use up some fuel to be lighter at the time of landing. Everything is under control. This plane has landing gear which include eight wheels at the rear, and on each side and in the front too, and we have lost only one, so there will be no problem for landing. Thank you very much for your patience,” he said.

Live feeds broadcast on social media showed flights coming in to the airport in anticpation of the emergency landing.  

While other witnesses recorded footage of the emergency vehicles preparing. 

Flight trackers showed the route of the plane as it circled the airport to reduce fuel. 

Earlier in the day the airspace at Barajas airport was closed after drone activity was detected in the airport vicinity. It was reopened just half an hour before the Air Canada flight got into difficulties. It was as yet unclear whether the two events were connected. 

A statement from Air Canada email to The Local Spain said that passengers had been informed of the “mechanical problem”.

“Air Canada flight AC837, Madrid to Toronto, experienced an engine issue shortly after take-off. A tire also reportedly ruptured on take-off, one of 10 on this model of aircraft,” a spokesman wrote.  

“The aircraft opted to return to Madrid and is currently circling to use up fuel and lighten the aircraft for landing. The aircraft, a Boeing 767-300, is designed to operate on one engine and our pilots are fully trained for this eventuality.

“Nonetheless, an emergency was declared in order to obtain landing priority. There are 128 passengers on board. We have no further details on the cause at present.”

More to follow…

READ MORE: Madrid's Barajas airport reopens after drone sighting forced closure

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Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.